Outdated IT Equipment Is Costing Your Enterprise More Than You Realize

Financial, Security, And Productivity Risks

Steven Lerner

It is already well-documented about the perils of providing mobile workers with outdated technology, but it turns out that the entire business could be in jeopardy when obsolete tech is used. With many enterprises projected to increase their budgets for new IT initiatives, it seems that replacing legacy systems should be one of the top priorities. However, some organizations still use the same antiquated technology and face numerous complications.

The Financial And Security Risks

Incorporating legacy technology into a new digital strategy can be a more than just a challenge —it could also be a tremendous monetary and compliance risk. A recent 2019 survey commissioned by Blanco Technology Group found than 40% of organizations are spending more than $100,000 to store data on outdated IT hardware.

Nearly half of those organizations store 31% to 60% of their data on site. The respondents of the survey were from North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, which shows that this is a global concern. Nearly 80% of respondents said that a quarter of useless drives are idly sitting in their datacenters.

After just a few years, the maintenance and support costs for antiquated equipment can skyrocket. This is usually attributed to the fact that older technology is more likely to experience failure and requires repairs.

The financial burden of spending money for outdated equipment can be troublesome enough, but it gets worse when factoring in the data in older drives. Over 60% of companies are trying to circumvent the cost by using free online tools to erase data. The problem with this is that those online tools usually lack the capabilities to erase all of the data securely. In fact, security is the major complication with using outdated technology. Data stored in old equipment can easily be breached because it likely lacks recent security capabilities.

In addition, data stored on outdated technology might be a compliance risk that could result in fines. New laws, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPU) in the EU, force businesses to securely store data, and wipe it from drives. Those violations could add up to millions of dollars in penalties.

Your Workers Won’t Like It

In addition to the financial and security burden of using outdated equipment, there are also consequences within your workforce. A 2018 study by Unisys Corporation found that employees who work at organizations with legacy technology are 750% more likely to be frustrated than their counterparts who work for companies that embrace new technology.

As a result, these workers are 136% more likely to feel less productive. This is especially true with mobile devices, which was the biggest pain point for workers. As the survey revealed, providing workers with outdated devices can diminish productivity.

The survey also concluded that workers who are forced to use outdated technology are 450% more likely to quit because of this frustration. A high employee turnover rate can be detrimental for any enterprise.

Sometimes, the wrong technology setup could negatively impact workforce productivity. A 2018 study from RingCentral concluded that toggling between multiple apps results in up to 32 days of lost workplace productivity annually.

The pain of inefficient technology can be felt throughout the entire enterprise. A 2018 study from analyst Vanson Bourne discovered that legacy technology is holding back 80% of IT decision makers and inhibiting the enterprise from taking advantage of data-driven opportunities.

Solving The Outdated Technology Predicament

Given the high risks of relying on obsolete and efficient technologies, some enterprises need to make changes. IT leaders need to audit technology capabilities and risks on an annual basis (the more frequent, the better). Even if that antiquated equipment is critical for day-to-day operations, the goal should still be to focus on modernizing hardware and software. By preparing for legacy-modernization initiatives, an enterprise will avoid several risks, and unlock new business opportunities that will create a competitive advantage.