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Out-of-date technology doesn't just hold your business back.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 Replace outdated software and hardware
Old and outdated technology is likely to be slow and waste valuable time and money.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 2023 UK government survey found that 32% of businesses and 24% of charities overall recall any breaches or attacks in the preceding 12 months. This is much higher for medium businesses (59%), large businesses (69%) and high-income charities with £500,000 or more in annual income (56%). Among those reporting cyber attacks, it is estimated that the cost of breach to each business, of any size, was an average of approximately £1,100. For medium and large businesses, this was approximately £4,960. For charities, it was approximately £530.
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.
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.