An aging IT infrastructure and the risks it poses to SMBs

An aging IT infrastructure and the risks it poses to SMBs

A lot of small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners are guilty of keeping network equipment long after it has reached the end of its life. This has a lot to do with the fact that most SMBs don’t have the budget or the manpower to stay on top of their IT infrastructure and its maintenance.

However, as many who have suffered downtime and productivity losses due to frequent network outages, data corruption, and cyberattacks will tell you, maintaining critical network components that are nearing or past their end of life is simply unsustainable. In fact, it might just be the reason your business closes its doors for good.

Of course, your business shutting down is the worst-case scenario. But there’s no denying that an aging IT infrastructure poses serious risks to any SMB.

Security hazards

As Cisco reported in 2016, many SMBs across the United States have outdated IT infrastructures, and cybercriminals are all too keen to capitalize on such. And since cybercriminals are using more and more sophisticated tools and methods of attack, a vulnerability-riddled IT infrastructure is wide open to threats from all sides. This puts a business’s entire operations at risk.

Decrease in performance and productivity

As your company grows, so do your bandwidth requirements. Older network equipment may not be able to support your team’s increasing needs, and this can have an impact on staff productivity. After all, aging hardware and software are more prone to slowing down and going kaput at the most inopportune moments, leading to downtime and lost productivity.

Data loss and degradation

Hardware damage and systems malfunctions can lead to data loss. If your server and storage devices are more than five years old, you’re probably long overdue for such catastrophes. It’s also only a matter of time before data succumbs to bit rot, or the gradual deterioration of the integrity of data in storage devices. Attempts to recover or back up corrupted data will result in even more data decay, leading to inevitable data loss.

High costs

The last thing an SMB owner wants is to go over budget. But if you use aging IT infrastructure, you might already be bleeding cash in more ways than one. For example, legacy technology tends to break down frequently, and the costs of repairing and maintaining them — especially if it happens all the time — are considerable.

Network outages also lead to a decrease in your employee’s productivity, which is another kind of cost in and of itself. Every minute of downtime can cost you customers as well, because not many may be willing to wait until you get your services back up, whenever that might be.

Moreover, aging servers and end-user devices are not very energy-efficient, and the costs of running and cooling these can be a huge drain on your already limited resources.

Roadblock to growth and innovation

Older software and hardware are unable to handle the demanding workloads of today’s SMBs. What’s more, they’re often incompatible with the latest applications. Together, these cause organizations that still rely on older equipment to miss out on the myriad benefits of cutting-edge technologies. Ultimately, this stifles opportunities for innovation and improving your bottom line.

Cisco added that random patches are often not enough to protect an aging IT infrastructure. A better solution would be to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to update an organization’s entire infrastructure and systems. This may involve dumping components and equipment that are no longer supported by manufacturers and upgrading to the latest hardware and software.

Sounds easy enough, but many SMBs still find it difficult to change their existing IT infrastructure, however old or inefficient it has become. Aside from financial constraints, a lot of SMBs simply don’t have the knowledge and skills needed to carry out such an undertaking.

This is where a managed services provider like Nye Technical Services (NTS) comes in. NTS has the experience and expertise in designing and building the most efficient network technologies that fit perfectly with the unique needs of your organization. If you’re ready to bid your aging, failing technology goodbye, give NTS a call today.

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