7 essential technology upgrades for your business

Guide

Out-of-date technology doesn't just hold your business back. It exposes you to cyber security risks and can lead to loss of productivity, efficiency and business revenue. Here are seven tech upgrades that can help you run your business more safely, easily or efficiently, without breaking the bank.

1. Replace outdated software and hardware

Old and outdated technology is likely to be slow and waste valuable time and money. If your office tech is affecting your productivity, it may be time to replace it. Consider the benefits of new computer hardware or updating your existing software and business applications.

2. Invest in security

A 2022 UK government survey found that in the preceding 12 months, 39 per cent of UK businesses identified a cyber attack. Among those reporting cyber attacks, 31 per cent of businesses and 26 per cent of charities estimate they were attacked at least once a week.

One in five businesses and charities say they experienced a negative outcome as a direct consequence of a cyber attack, while one-third of businesses and almost four in ten charities experienced at least one negative impact.

These statistics highlight the importance of cyber security for business. Find out how to protect your business online, carry out IT risk assessment or develop an effective IT risk management process.

3. Make the most of the cloud

Cloud computing offers many potential benefits to a small business. It can help reduce costs, streamline processes and increase operational flexibility. You may want to consider the cloud for upgrading your data storage, or try out different cloud service models, such as on-demand software or virtual hardware.

4. Upgrade your business broadband

If your broadband connection is slow and unreliable, or if you are using home broadband for business, consider upgrading to superfast fibre broadband. A faster broadband speed can improve efficiency, user experience and enable connectivity of a greater number of wireless devices - see the advantages of business broadband.

For businesses with slow broadband speeds in rural areas, the government is providing voucher funding worth up to £3,500 to help cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband. Read more about the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

5. Optimise for mobile

Smartphone shopping and usage are increasing. If you want to grow your business in the mobile market, you should optimise your website for mobile traffic to avoid missing sales. When updating or creating a new website, be sure to follow mobile web design best practice.

6. Optimise for search

Search engine visibility is the key to online success. The higher you rank in search results, the more visible you will be. This means more visitors, and potential customers, arriving at your website. If you haven't yet, you should optimise your website and content for search engines. See search engine optimisation.

7. Upgrade your POS system

PoS or point-of-sale systems have been around for a long time, but have recently seen some innovative changes. For example, the latest Wi-Fi based billing systems now come in a single appliance, rather than a collection of hardware. Web-based POS systems are also on the rise. Read more about using payment cards for your business, or - if you have concerns about keeping your PoS systems safe - see point-of-sale terminal security.