3 Risks of Using Outdated Systems

3 Risks of Using Outdated Systems

Relying on outdated systems can pose significant risks to your business which in return, undermines your productivity, security, and competitiveness.

But don’t just take our word for it: In the US alone, organizations report nearly $1.8 billion in annual productivity losses due to outdated technology. Not only that, but a Microsoft poll revealed that 91% of customers would actually consider ending business relationships with companies that use obsolete software technologies, mainly due to the obvious security and privacy concerns.

Let’s dive into the top three risks associated with using outdated systems and discuss the importance of keeping your technology up to date.

A Ticking Time Bomb

Because they lack the latest security patches and updates, outdated systems are far more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Unlike your outdated software, cyberattacks have and will continue to improve with time, making them more advanced and far more difficult to detect and stop.

So, if you’re relying on outdated software, your business is exposed to risks such as data breaches, ransomware attacks, and malware infections. For instance, the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017 took advantage of the continued use of outdated versions of Windows. The attack caused widespread disruption hitting around 230,000 computers and it is estimated that it caused $4 billion in losses across the globe. What’s so unfortunate about this attack is that it could have been prevented. Microsoft actually released a security patch that would protect user’s systems from WannaCry two months before the attack began! Those who did not regularly update their operating systems were left exposed.

Signs to Look Out For:

  • If you are experiencing an increasing number of security breaches, malware infections, or have been a victim of a ransomware attack.
  • You continue to use software versions that have not received the latest security patches and updates.

Decreased Productivity and Increasing Frustration

Not only do outdated systems make your business vulnerable to cyberthreats, they can also severely hinder your productivity. Because outdated often means older, the technology will tend to run slower and may not support the latest software, tools, or features that can streamline your business processes. This will lead to increased downtime, frequent crashes, and overall inefficiency. And when something inevitably does go wrong, the cost of troubleshooting, repairing, and restoring systems can put a strain on your budget.

And of course, we can’t forget about your employees. If they’re constantly having to force shutdown a software, or their computer keeps freezing, this will undoubtably have a negative impact on their productivity and morale. In a 2021 poll commissioned by Paycom, 77% of employees reported they were frustrated with the outdated technology that they use at work.

Signs to Look Out For:

  • Your employees frequently complain about slow-running systems, unresponsive software, or frequent crashes.
  • You’re unable to adopt new software, applications, or tools due to compatibility issues.
  • You’re seeing an increase in maintenance costs, frequent repairs, or constantly in need of workarounds to keep the systems running.

Sorry, We’re Not Compatible

Technology will never remain at a standstill. It will continue to evolve at a very rapid pace and as a result, outdated systems may become increasingly incompatible with newer software, hardware, or devices. This incompatibility can present significant challenges when you’re collaborating with clients or partners that use much more modern systems. Something to keep in mind is that your competitors might decide to embrace the latest technologies, and this will help them gain a significant advantage over you. So, if you don’t want to fall behind, we highly recommend that you update your systems.

Signs to Look Out For:

  • You’re struggling when you try to implement new technologies or systems due to compatibility problems.
  • You encounter issues when collaborating or sharing data with partners or clients using newer systems.
  • If you rely on hardware or software that is no longer supported by the manufacturer, or that has been replaced by newer solutions.

Planning on Making the Upgrade? Keep This in Mind!

If you’re planning on upgrading your systems, make sure you upgrade to commercial-grade equipment, ensure adequate warranties, and use business-class operating systems such as Windows 10 or 11 Pro (rather than home versions). Also, invest in systems with ample resources, such as sufficient memory, powerful CPUs, and SSDs, as this will help your business run its operations smoothly and have the capability to support the latest software and tools.

Patches and updates play a crucial role in maintaining a secure and efficient IT infrastructure. They address known security vulnerabilities, fix bugs, introduce new features, improve compatibility, and help your business stay compliant with industry regulations. Just as your car needs regular maintenance, computers also require consistent attention to their software and operating systems. If you want optimal performance and security, it is essential to monitor for updates, prioritizing critical security patches, and scheduling updates during periods of low business activity. By treating computer maintenance with the same level of importance as vehicle care, you can mitigate potential risks and make sure it doesn’t leave you stranded in the middle of a workday.

These tips will directly translate into a more efficient work environment, where your employees can focus on their tasks without the frustration of system malfunctions or delays. Ultimately, less downtime means increased productivity and a healthier bottom line for your business.

Get Up to Date with BCA

At BCA, we know just what to do to help you transition from outdated systems to more modern, secure, and efficient technology. As your Managed IT Services provider, we work closely with you to assess your infrastructure and develop a strategy for you to have the best technology for your needs. Contact us today to learn how we can help you stay safe and ahead of the curve!