Five outdated IT practices companies need to eliminate

Hackers love to exploit the gaps that exist in unsupported or outdated software. Updating software and company information technology is an important priority for business success.

WICHITA, KS — Technology changes nearly as quickly as the calendar flips. A new device or upgrade that was trending not long ago may become antiquated or obsolete before you know it.

Information technology is integral to most businesses today, but keeping up with the interrelated parts of IT and the advancements – from software to cyber security to social media platforms – isn’t always prioritized. IT experts say companies falling behind in that category could see their business slip as a result.

“Over the last several years, many IT practices have become fixed and inflexible,” says Chris Hoose (www.choosenetworks.com), an IT consultant who works with small businesses. “While older concepts are a good springboard, some have become ineffective. There are many to reconsider and/or eliminate.”

Hoose looks at five IT practices he thinks businesses should stop using:

Outdated software

One of the biggest security vulnerabilities a company can face is one of the simplest to address: outdated software. “There are many risks associated with using unsupported or outdated software, and hackers love to exploit these gaps,” Hoose says.

“Then there are the inevitable problems of a system failure or antiquated workflows that slow a company’s productivity. Although upgrading software – including the operating systems – can be time-consuming and expensive, doing so can safeguard an organization and create more room for innovations.”

In-house server hosting

Much of today’s modern software is hosted in the cloud. “Most cloud vendors are able to provide public, private or hybrid cloud hosting based on a business’s requirements,” Hoose says.

“With such extensive cloud capability, there is no reason anymore to rely on in-house server hosting. Migrating to these versions can not only help save a business the costs of purchasing and maintaining software, but also the costs of maintenance and upkeep on servers.”

Another plus of cloud computing is the added security of cloud disaster recovery, a backup and restore capability that enables companies to recover data and switch to a secondary operational mode.

Inflexible work

environment

The new wave of the workforce is an IT strategy that includes video cameras and laptops for team members to facilitate remote work and remote communications. “If a firm doesn’t have that flexibility, they risk being left behind,” Hoose says. “Flexible work arrangements improve a company’s effectiveness and morale. It’s one of the best uses of today’s IT.”

Newsgroups, discussion forums

These popular mediums once served as portals where questions were raised from the team and answers were provided in a question-and-answer format. Better alternatives, Hoose says, are options like Facebook, Hangouts or Slack.

“The format is far more intuitive and user-friendly with social media pages than with conventional discussion forums,” he says. “Also, multiple answers can be handled easily with social-media pages.”

Unnecessary complexity

Hoose says an overly complex structure is the core failing of legacy systems. “Rethink the architecture and prioritize for simplicity,” he says. “When modernizing systems, less is more in terms of both architecture and functionality. Start by implementing only the most important features.”

“Make sure the new application will work well with the rest of the tools used in the business by default. Whatever applications are choosen, make sure to use a solid and future-ready technology stack to deliver optimal performance.”

“Many executives are unsure, or even unaware, of the risk that obsolescence presents to their technology portfolios,” Hoose says. “Their uncertainty stems from not having the right data and dealing with conflicting points of view on priority, value, and risk.”

About Chris Hoose

Chris Hoose is the president of Choose Networks, an IT consulting firm for small businesses. Hoose started the company in 2001 to give large-scale solutions and support to businesses that can’t afford their own in-house IT department. He earned a Master of Information Systems Management from Friends University.

For more information, visit www.choosenetworks.com.