Technology

IT systems aren’t sexy, but they’re vital to your business: Control Shift

Andrew Sadauskas /

When it comes to public interest, some technologies garner more hype than others.

Right now, in terms of hype, the internet of things, apps, augmented reality and virtual reality are off the scales. So is anything announced by Apple – not to mention wearables.

At the polar opposite extreme, you have IT systems. In terms of technology, procurement systems, document management, payroll, accounting, point of sales, inventor management, billing systems and the like are considered anything but exciting.

Your friends might ask if they can have a closer look at that shiny new Android Gear smartwatch on your wrist or your new 4K LED widescreen TV. However, they probably won’t ask if they can stop by and take a look at that shiny new enterprise resource planning package you’re running in your company’s server room.

However, while IT systems might be boring, getting them right is absolutely vital to your business, as well as everyone connected to it.

According to figures published this week in the latest instalment of The EY Australian Productivity Pulse, the average employee is estimated to waste around 54 minutes each day due to ineffective or obsolete IT systems.

For them, it’s 54 minutes of misery – there’s nothing on Earth that quite matches the sheer boredom that comes from waiting for a piece of computer software to load. Slowly.

Jobs that, by all reason, should take minutes to do, become protracted battles against the computer.

Meanwhile, as an owner or manager, it’s a waste of money and resources. That’s 54 minutes per day those staff aren’t selling your products, serving your customers, or doing the work you’re paying them for.

Around 70% of workers say they would be more productive if they had access to better systems, and 13% of employees say they are held back by the software packages they use at work.

Of course, it’s not just productivity that suffers with obsolete systems.

Out of date systems can place limits on your ability to meet customer requests or create new products. “The billing system wasn’t designed for it”, your accounts people will inevitably complain.

Some systems will also not be able to scale, meaning they won’t be able to expand their capacity as your business grows.

And, in the worst case scenario, a crash can leave your business unable to trade at all. Not to mention the security risks that come with running obsolete software.

When it comes to IT upgrades, often just looking at the upfront price of an upgrade is a false economy. Over the long run, obsolete systems often end up costing more to keep around than they do to replace.

And make no mistake about it. Bad IT systems kill companies.

So are your business systems a mess of programs and servers held together by a mess of chewing gum, gaffer tape and good intentions? Do your staff waste time as your systems are “loading” instead of working?

If so, especially if you’re a growing company, it might be time to take a close look at your IT systems.

Because when it comes to technology, getting the right IT systems in place might not be sexy, but they might just save your business.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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