Guide

7 essential technology upgrades for your business

Out-of-date technology doesn't just hold your business back.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 Replace outdated software and hardware

Office tech develops at a constant pace. Knowing when to upgrade and what solutions to invest in can be tricky. Read about customer relationship management and computer hardware for business, or see accounting software, payroll software and supply chain management software guides to find the right fit for your software needs.

2. Invest in security

According to research, a quarter of all UK businesses detected one or more cyber security breaches in 2016. This rate is much higher for medium and large businesses - up to 65 per cent. With the average cost of a small breach starting at £3,480 per incident, now is the time to invest in 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 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. Read more about the advantages of business broadband.

5. Optimise for mobile

Smartphone shopping and usage is 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, make sure that you are designing for the mobile web.

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 to your website. If you haven't yet, you should optimise your website and content for search engines. See more on 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.