Crashed rocket

5 common warning signs of failing or outdated technology

Outdated technology can hurt your business. It can drastically reduce your team’s productivity, cause errors and data failures, and even convince frustrated customers to seek services elsewhere.

But how can you tell if your PCs are on their last legs? Or if that printer really needs a replacement?

You don’t want to spend too much on hardware and software you don’t actually need, but you don’t want an unhealthy IT system, either. So how can you find the balance between the two?

Here are some key indicators that may help you determine whether your technology is good to go or well past its prime.

Your tech is slow.

Slow systems are often the most notable sign that your tech is old. Some of the most common signs include:

  • Your computer takes a long time to boot.
  • Programs are slow to load – or fail to load completely.
  • Programs are slow to install.
  • Your internet connection is slow, even without connection errors.
  • Web pages won’t load quickly (or at all).

While there may be other issues at play here, outdated tech is the most common cause of slow speeds for software and hardware.

You have too much downtime.

While many companies experience occasional IT-related downtimes, it’s certainly not normal for your technology to have issues on a daily or even weekly basis.

Every time your work halts because of computer freezes, phone issues, or internet outages, your business takes a huge financial hit. If it’s happening often, it’s time to make some changes.

You can’t upgrade or use applications.

Most computer programs need regular updates to work efficiently, and many require these updates in order to work at all.

You may find that your computer simply can’t handle the updates, which is a sure sign it needs to be replaced. You may see error messages indicating that the update cannot be completed, or you may complete the update and notice that the program isn’t working as well as it should. You may also experience issues using printers or other hardware after the program update.

All of these are signs that your technology is outdated.

Your work is inefficient.

This indicator is often the most subtle, but it’s also one of the most important: You may notice that your work isn’t as efficient as it could be. Perhaps you’re frustrated with endless paperwork, tasks that become too stressful due to inefficient processes, and “busywork” that is simply too time-consuming.

Some common examples include large inboxes of papers that could be scanned and stored on the cloud, telephone operators whose only task is routing calls, or a scanner that seems to take an act of Congress to actually scan a document. All of these tasks could easily be handled with updated technology.

Your customers are leaving for competitors.

Are you experiencing a lag in business? If so, do you know why?

While your customers may not interact with your tech directly, many of the points mentioned above will eventually come back to affect your customers.

As a result, they may assume your company isn’t performing well enough to purchase working tech, or they may simply become too frustrated with the situation. Either way, in a recent survey, 91 percent of customers said they would leave a company due to failing technology. Above all else, this point should sway you to update your technology.

If you’re considering upgrading your technology, take a look at the beginner’s guide to using technology as a tool for growth.