By Praveen Kumar
Organisations recognise that they cannot function without technology, particularly in the critical area of information management. So budgets are set and options are explored – an often lengthy process. Solutions are sought, compared, chosen and finally implemented. Time to relax and get on with running the business, right? Wrong.
Despite having spent time and money on setting up the shiny new solution, enterprises have to face the fact that they cannot stand pat. The information management landscape – and technological innovation at large – is constantly changing, and a set-it-and-forget-it approach to technology solutions is not going to help the business keep pace.
The reality is that upgrades are not only necessary, but present a significant opportunity for improvements in business processes and outcomes. Technology is an investment, and like any investment in the business it must deliver the maximum ROI. To do so, it must evolve, in lockstep with the business. And optimising the technology investment is especially important when it relates to the organisation’s ability to make the fullest use of its most valuable asset – data.
Another key point to bear in mind, is that simply sticking with outdated technology not only leads to missed opportunities; it can actually have negative impacts on the business. Here are three reasons why keeping enterprise information systems current is absolutely mandatory.
1. New Functionality
It is an accepted fact of business life that technology is constantly evolving and advancing. It could hardly be otherwise – after all, the data-driven enterprise operates in the digital economy. Regularly upgrading information management solutions gives companies access to new features that enhance productivity, eliminate bottlenecks and enhance corporate governance, compliance and security.
Organisations might look back to an earlier investment decision, and question why the solution they already bought hasn’t fulfilled its promise to stay abreast of changes and keep improving productivity. The vendor was almost certainly being truthful, and productivity enhancements did take place at first – for a given set of assumptions. However, no vendor could realistically have anticipated the rise of remote working, for example. The workforce is constantly evolving and facing new challenges that earlier solutions just cannot address.
Productivity therefore lags, increasing costs for the organisation, slowing time to market, and giving more nimble competitors the advantage. Upgrading information management solutions to empower employees is clearly a wise investment.
Customer needs and expectations are also constantly changing. Retail customers often look for innovation to add novelty to their experience, while businesses want innovations that enhance agility and efficiency. In either case, enterprises must consider what functionalities their customers want. Technology upgrades help organisations provide their customers with the products and services they desire – with consequent improvements to the bottom line.
2. Strengthened Security
The recent increase in dramatic cyberattacks around the world, particularly those using ransomware, has put the spotlight firmly on cybersecurity. The threat landscape continues to evolve rapidly, in both in the types of threats that organisations face and how frequently they occur. The conventional wisdom today is that organisations must expect to be targeted by cybercriminals. The global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, according to the 2020 Cost of Data Breach Report from Ponemon Institute and IBM Security. The same report reveals that across ASEAN the average cost of a security breach has increased to $2.71 million per organisation, with the time taken to identify and contain an attack rising to 287 days.
The fact is that older systems are more vulnerable to being hacked by cybercriminals. Greater familiarity with older software makes it easier for bad actors to constantly invent new ways to penetrate enterprises. Companies that do not upgrade their technologies are putting the security and integrity of the business at risk. The damage incurred is not limited to money – corporate reputation can suffer badly as consumer trust in the brand erodes, and there may be fines for breaches of corporate governance regulations. Enterprises have an absolute duty to shareholders, authorities, employees and customers to ensure information systems remain stable and secure with the latest security updates.
3. Improved Modernization
Besides the satisfaction to be gained from meeting evolving customer demands and addressing security risks, there is an exciting aspect to technology upgrades – they represent the opportunity to tap into the most cutting-edge, modern capabilities. Every industry is seeing accelerated innovation as organisations scramble to keep pace with rapidly evolving market conditions, economic structure and consumer expectations – and as a result, there are new technological advances every day. Again, this is a two-edged sword – while the progression in innovation presents opportunity, it also raises the stakes. Choosing to opt out of modernisation means that customer-facing technologies will become lacklustre, and employees will be less supported in their jobs, impacting productivity and reducing the attraction of the organisation as an employer. The end result is the loss of competitive edge in the market.
By consistently upgrading technology, enterprises benefit from the most up-to-date user experiences and integrations. They can improve existing solutions and even build entirely new ones, expanding across the organisation and the whole eco-system, from supply chain integration to end-user delight.
Now is the time for companies to upgrade their enterprise information management stack, particularly if it hasn’t been done for some time, or if new upgrades have not been made available. Organisations need to stay on top of functionality, security and modernity by ensuring their information systems are always as sophisticated and current as the enterprise itself is.
Praveen Kumar is Senior Vice President and General Manager Asia Pacific at ASG Technologies