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If you saw an auto manufacturer using techniques from before the wheel was invented, wouldn?t you suspect it was time for an upgrade? Although their practices may be set in stone, other companies around them are using newer, more streamlined technologies and strategies, and seeing the profits grow from those upgrades.

While your business may not still be trying to figure out the wheel, the technology you rely on everyday may still be a thing of the past. The reason new technology is invented is to streamline processes and improve productivity – but that doesn?t do squat unless you?ve upgraded yours. And while you may too be set in your ways, be sure to know that your competitors are probably upgrading to and working with the latest technology, and their successes will show it.

The problem for many small businesses is, you don?t even know that your technology is holding you back. It?s time to take a look under the hood.

A Stone Age Business Process

The 80?s were a prosperous time for business in America, but that doesn?t mean you should be doing things the same way today. Take a look at your business processes for tasks you?re currently paying employees to spend time doing.

Do you have tasks that require multiple system input, or tasks that require manual data entry that could easily be streamline with an updated platform? For instance, look at customer data entry: does it automatically get entered into your system at the point of purchase, or are you having an employee manually taking care of this?

These simple, manual processes are what can be tidied up in automated processes to save you time and money in the long run. A professional IT consultant can help you perceive and upgrade these small tasks that may go unnoticed?since the 80s.

System Connection in 3?2?1 1/2?1 1/4?1 1/8?

How?s your system running? If you?re this far into the article and the web page hasn?t fully loaded yet, that answer is not good.

System speed goes beyond internet connection of course, but it?s something that you grow used to over time. As the years pass and you rely more on your systems, they begin to put a larger strain on your network that?s built with outdated parts not capable of the new workload, in turn slowing it down. Many times, this slowdown is almost imperceivable – like growing older, or acquiring a taste for bleu cheese.

While that slow network and system on the surface seem like a bit of an annoyance, in the long run, every moment you wait for slow system components is wasted time, which is wasted money in the business world. Taking the proper steps to improve efficiency and speed in your system will improve how long it takes to get tasks done, work with customers, and deliver to those customers – in the end, bringing you in more money.

Check Out Your Neighbor?s New Car

Nothing makes you want to upgrade something quite as much as seeing a friend – or enemy – get something new of their own, and that?s no different in business.

If you?re thinking your technology may be lagging a bit, take a look at your competitors, especially those doing well. Did they upgrade to a newer, more efficient software platform? Did they install a new network? Did they nearly abolish manual employee data entry in favor of a streamlined process?

While trying to keep up with the Jones? may not be the best advice to follow in your social life, in the technology your business employs it could be what keeps you in your competitor?s shadow. Take a look at their social media and how you stack up, or their work-life balance compared to your own. If other organizations in your field are doing better and seem to have more time on their hands, it?s probably because they?re letting newer tech with automated processes do a lot of their work for them.

Upgrading to new technology isn’t going to be the holy grail to a perfect business, but it?s certainly not going to hurt. If you feel like your business is falling behind because your tech is a thing of the past, look to NENS to be your 21st century tech gurus. They?ll do more than teach you how to use the wheel. Contact NENS and speak a consultant today about your IT situation.