For small business in the 21st century, tech has become an integral part of the day-to-day. We rely on it to run our systems, keep us connected with our customers and ensure our data is secure. Yet thousands of Australian businesses are struggling with outdated tech, which equates to wasted time and lost productivity. With a new year dawning, is it time you considered upgrading your tech?
From cloud-based accounting services to CRM and social media management, tech is the hub around which small business thrives or dies.
Anna Torres, Marketing Director, Australia & Southeast Asia at Intel told Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB) that the demands we place on our computers as small business owners are greater than ever.
“One of the key things I’ve noticed is just how much we rely on our tech today, especially small business owners who need to be on top of everything. Technology is a huge part of small business as they need to operate in a bigger universe where everyone is connected,” Torres says.
According to Torres, this connectedness has led to a ‘real-time’ culture that many small businesses are struggling to sustain.
“Customer expectations are changing around the world… Instant gratification is rife. In a world of same-day delivery and streaming within seconds, the need for speed is undeniable. You’re on the clock to deliver instant gratification – whether it’s managing your social media communities or responding to online queries. And being on top of it can be what closes a sale while also delivering that extra bit of delight to a customer,” she says.
Reliable tech is a must in today’s world.
Torres suggests in order to achieve and exceed customer expectations, keeping your tech up-to-date is essential.
“You simply can’t sit around and wait for your PC to start up at the beginning of the day, or grab a coffee every time you have to reboot because your laptop has frozen. Reliable tech is a must in today’s world.”
If you arel using outdated tech, Torres says you’re not alone. There are 450 million five-year-old devices still in use today, many of which are being used by business owners.
Yet Torres insists if you are working with slow tech you are literally not keeping up.
“I understand that the time and expense associated with upgrading is a deterrent for business owners and they’re prioritising keeping their business running smoothly, but the stats show if you’re working on laptops and desktop computers that are this old, you won’t be as productive, you’ll spend far more time calling tech support, and you’ll most likely have frustrated staff on your hands. In fact, staff will be more than two times productive on newer devices,” Torres explains.
Torres says a five-year-old device was built with a different world in mind. Today we expect our computers to do so much more. Take marketing your business as an example: Today’s consumers expect to get their messages via video and visual communications but older computers will struggle to keep up.
“Visual content is a way for businesses to show off their product or service in a really engaging, meaningful way.
“But if you’re taking a video and you want to edit that footage, what takes 45 minutes on a five-year-old machine, will only take three-minutes on a new system. And we’re not talking super high-end desktops here. Laptops based on an Intel Core i5 processor will easily be able to handle video editing. And these range in price from as low as $1K.”
Similarly, new devices can edit photos faster, browse the web quicker and make crunching numbers a cinch.
“For most people, an Intel Core i5 will be ideal for your needs. The Core i7 is the next level up if you need more grunt.”
Road warriors should also invest in new tech if their laptop’s performance is starting to slow. Torres suggests a 2 in 1 is the way to go.
“These can switch from laptop to tablet mode and are really versatile. 2 in 1s based on our latest processors, the 8th Generation Intel Core, are sleek with the thinnest measuring 11mm. They have twice the performance of an old device, are fast and responsive, and they boast battery life of at least 10 hours, so that’s plenty to take you right through the day, or binge watch your favourite show if you’re flying internationally.”
Whilst replacing your small business’ tech may seem daunting, Torres tells KBB you can always seek expert assistance if you feel overwhelmed.
“It’s easy to be overwhelmed and if you’re time poor I’d suggest enlisting the help of a PC consultant or PC reseller to help identify what’s going on with your business and what you need. They may even provide a free quote.
“And just remember,” she concludes, “you don’t have to upgrade all at the same time. Do it in stages.”