Slow IT Got You Stuck in the Dog Days of Summer?
The Real Cost of Slow IT
We all know the pain of slow IT: websites taking too long to load or timing out, your OS is out of date and makes everything a headache. Printers don’t want to print. Anti-virus scans take days to complete and you can’t run other programs while it scans your systems. Uploads/downloads never seem to finish. Frustration and irrational anger abound.
Slow IT isn’t just an added stress and inconvenience to your business; slow IT is costing you time, money and clients. Business operations are moving faster than ever and slow is not an excusable option. People are used to near-instantaneous interactions and transactions in nearly every area of business. Your business simply has to keep up.
Your employees are the lifeblood of your organization. Without their expertise, services and productivity, you have no business. Their productivity is directly related to the effectiveness of the tools you provide so they can do their best at their job. Seeing as technology is the hub of your business processes, the slower the IT tools, the less productive your employees will be.
Yes, the cost of upgrading your hardware, software and network systems may be off-putting—but don’t fall victim to the old phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Adhering to this old-fashioned mentality could potentially put your company out of business. Old technology is essentially obsolete—it’s best to consider old technology as broken, even if it’s still chugging along.
Think of it this way: your competitors are constantly trying to get the edge on your company to increase their own growth. If they can offer the same services faster than you can provide, there’s little stopping your clients from jumping ship. Why use a hand axe to cut down a tree when you could invest a little extra in a chainsaw and cut down 50 trees in the same amount of time?
Don’t make the mistake of sticking with outdated IT technology. Stay on the cutting edge with your tech—and back up your tools with an experienced IT team. Your employees will thank you! By making their jobs as easy as possible, they become more productive, which ultimately greatly affects your company’s bottom line: your customers are happy, they stick around, and everyone benefits.
Impatient Employees & Frustrated (Ex)-Customers
It’s obvious that frustrated, angry employees are never as productive as calm, happy team members. Work environment plays a huge role in productivity. If people are working in a relaxed and comfortable setting, they are always more productive than when working in a hectic, tense environment. Controlling the amount of workflow may be difficult, especially during busy times, but adding slow, poorly responsive IT to the mix creates unnecessary complications that should and can be avoided.
Slow IT can also make customers and clients impatient. A slow credit card reader or upload/download can potentially harm or even permanently damage customer relationships. If it happens frequently enough, they may begin searching out other companies that provide faster, more efficient services. Clients that wait for shipping orders, inventory updates and other time-sensitive services because of slow IT on your end can be seriously affected by delays. If you take too long, they are vulnerable to losing time, money and potentially even contracts.
It’s not just your business that can be adversely affected by slow IT. Slow IT also negatively impacts those key people-to-people business relationships that you need to keep your business running smoothly day-to-day.
Long-Term Loss of $$
Think about your biggest competitors: those other companies that provide world-class services and turnover rates at intervals that impress customers with their speed and effectiveness. People not only marvel at the speed and effectiveness in how orders are processed, but they are more likely to use that company’s services again in the future. They will also tell their business partners about their positive experience and will likely write positive reviews online.
This is exactly the kind of customer/client relationship you must build and maintain. (As CEO, you already know this is absolutely true.) Additionally, positive feedback can be viewed by other potential clients worldwide. About 80% of customers now say online reviews affect their purchasing habits. An incredible 93% say they read online reviews before dining or shopping. The same holds true for B2B: your customers and clients are doing their homework. If you’re not meeting your customer service demands due to slow IT—you’re in trouble.
If you’re bogged down by slow IT, you are losing money. Period. There’s no way to justify operating with outdated tech. This isn’t to say that you must be cutting edge 100% of the time. After all, it is hard to keep up—but your IT solutions must be as current as possible to stay competitive, and you need an IT team behind you to ensure your day-to-day business is never disrupted by slow IT. Too many companies use old hardware, OS and other software which hurts their productivity, their business relationships and their ability to make money. Given a long enough timeline, the companies that remain in the past stay in the past.
Take an honest look at your IT, then look at your competitor’s. If your company isn’t blazing ahead, but instead following in the wake of others, it’s time to do some consulting. An outside IT company can help you to understand the current competition, and more importantly, help you design a proactive IT strategy to remain ahead of the pack for years to come.
Is your company the type to set trends or to follow them?