One battle cry I hear from almost every business we walk through the door to help is, “if it’s not broke, why fix it?” The reality is, you called because something is broken. It is likely a dinosaur tech item or process is in need of change. Here are the top 6 dinosaur tech items that are in need of change and why.
Home Grown Accounting Systems
There are two nasty practices I frequently find in small business accounting offices. The first is that one person created a whole bunch of spreadsheets that only they understand. The second is that around 2001 someone in house with some tech know how created an accounting platform for the firm on the cheap and if the sun shines through the West window at 4:42PM and a fly lands on the server, it may blow up and never work again. The system might not be broken (yet) but the structure is.
Fixing this system after the Excel guru or triceratops accounting platform dies is a complete and utter nightmare. I have had to help several firms through this. Everyone aged several years. It wasn’t pretty.
Modern accounting software is frequently upgraded to add updated integrations with other platforms (ERP, CRM, HR, Shipping Providers, credit card merchant accounts, etc). They also offer secure backups of your data and the ability to access the systems remotely. Payroll from the beach anyone?
Nobody wants to send or receive a fax. It looks horrible and takes much longer than the communication needs to. The only reason faxing still exists is because someone is making you send them one. We got rid of our fax at 101 Digital over a year ago and the only difference is we get less junk faxes in our email inbox and we save $5/month.
If your company needs to have a fax “presence”, it’s time to get an e-fax. For around $5-10/month you can have your fax number receive faxes and email them to you . When you need to send a fax to a stegosaurus machine you can email it to a special number that will fax it for you (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Email Address ending in Yahoo.com, SBCGlobal.net, ATT.net, Comcast.net
This one may pull at some heart strings for nostalgia reasons. I understand that your company may have had email@example.com for the last 20 years or so. I also understand that everyone in your office is using that one email account, the password is known by all the staff that has left, and there is not a real backup of any of the email.
I’m sorry but the band aid has to be ripped off. Not only does the email address look out dated and unprofessional, but it’s very insecure. Your company website already has a regular domain name (jandoeaccounting.com) which means you can use that for your email addresses too. Using a free email account makes your business look like it doesn’t keep up with technology or doesn’t spend money on data management. Both of these are huge red flags when looking for a small business lawyer or accountant.
The excuse of “my flip phone can’t be hacked!” isn’t much of an excuse anymore. The reality is that it is just an excuse not to learn something new and it is hurting your business. Smartphones are mandatory for quick communication and research while on the go (top business phones of 2016). With proper mobile device management and user education, every member of your team should be able to communicate effectively with Email, text messages, Skype, social media, and much more without big security issues. Your competition is already doing it.
Windows Server 2003
Getting rid of Server 2003 is not just something IT firms yell at you to get you to upgrade. Server 2003 is a huge security and stability issue and a ticking time bomb. Extended support (security updates) for Server 2003 ended in July of 2015. No new software or upgrades works on 2003 and it won’t. Furthermore, that old hardware running the server is likely going to fail and replacement parts will not be available. It’s dead and it is time to let it go. Plan for the upgrade before something bad happens and you are forced to move on with a very expensive and time consuming project.
Paper is easily destroyed. It can be burned, soaked in water, lost, or simply deteriorate over time. It’s also not quickly retrievable or searched through. On the security front it’s oh so easy to have information stolen or leaked with good old paper. Lastly, it takes up a lot of room. Some businesses have entire rooms dedicated to storing paper in cabinets and boxes. The digital age is working hard to squash this.
Modern scanners can convert those documents to digital versions in no time. There are even businesses that will do the process for you. Before starting the conversion, setup a plan for how your business will digitally file and secure documents (OneDrive, Sharepoint, 101 Digital Sync, etc). Once that infrastructure is in place, you will be able to take advantage of virtually unlimited document storage with the cloud, and near instant searching of documents. Any reputable IT Manage Service provider will help your business setup a system to check this tech item of your list.
Does your company still use any of the above tech items? Has your small business adopted any particular tools that have made the migration easier? Let me know in the comments below. At 101 Digital we love implementing solutions to help companies communicate and work securely.