Are My Company’s Digital Connections Outdated?

Studies show that outdated technology can have several types of negative effects on your business. Take these steps to prevent those issues.

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You know how critical it is to stay digitally connected to your employees, customers, vendors, and others associated with your company. Your business computers, phones, and other devices must be in top working order, whether your company makes or sells products, provides services, or ships goods.

But do you know whether your digital systems and tools need upgrading?

A PwC report suggests that employers aren’t falling behind in updating their technology as much as they’re trying hard to keep up with tech advancements.

The same report found that employees are willing to have 2 days a month of training to upgrade their digital skills if their company offered it. Based on the report, employees clearly understand the need to keep up with technological changes.

What are employees’ opinions on technology?

If you’re not sure what condition your office technology is in and how it’s affecting your business, you may want to listen to the everyday end-users: your employees.

That’s just what Zenbusiness did in 2019 when it surveyed 917 workers who identified outdated technology in their organizations.

If you’re not sure what condition your office technology is in and how it’s affecting your business, you may want to listen to the everyday end-users: your employees.

The business start-up support firm found that more than 50% of the survey respondents said their employers’ technology was “moderately” or “completely outdated.”

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What are organizations’ top outdated technology tools?

Zenbusiness’s survey respondents cited their company’s top outdated technology as:

  • Computers — 83.1%
  • Software (office suites, data systems, etc.) — 70.5%
  • Printers — 55.4%
  • Digital displays (screens, whiteboards, etc.) — 44.5%
  • Cloud platforms (file-sharing, etc.) — 33.8%
  • Communication tools (email, messaging, etc.) — 33.3%
  • Cybersecurity (anti-virus, anti-malware programs, etc.) — 26.7%
  • Internet — 26.2%
  • Other — 3.1%

The survey’s most outdated technology — computers — require periodic updating to run more advanced software programs. Putting off upgrades may be a cost-saving measure, but not if your systems become inoperable.

Also, postponing upgrades likely means having to spend a lot on repairs when that money could have paid for a new system.

But big fix-it costs are just one of a string of problems with not upgrading your office technology.

What are the problems with outdated technology?

Old, inoperable devices and software impacts nearly every aspect of doing business, from productivity and connectivity to job satisfaction and cybersecurity. In fact, more than a few studies have found that outdated technology makes employees feel less productive, frustrated, and ready to quit.

Here are drawbacks of not doing periodic tech updates:

Decreased productivity

Employees in a 2018 Unisys Corporation study claimed that outdated technology made them feel 750% less productive, compared to 51% of digital workers.

Employees reportedly lose nearly 40 minutes a day struggling with outdated technology. A Paycom survey found that this amounts to 3 hours a week.

HR-related tech malfunctions involving requests for time off, enrolling in benefits, or engaging in other HR-driven activities cause workers to miss, on average, 3 deadlines for submitting requests per month.

Impacted communication

Technology has revolutionized the way people communicate and collaborate. But when the tools that made this monumental change don’t work, simply updating your technology isn’t enough, according to Park Point University Online.

The university points out that instant messaging, texting, and social media are replacing email, printers, and faxes in some cases, but that you need to decide which communication programs work best for your organization.

Increased downtime

People are used to getting products and services on demand, thanks to technology. In fact, the digital era is nearly synonymous with the phrase “in real time.”

Downtime due to internet service interruptions may be uncontrollable, but interruptions because of a much-needed upgrade to your system are fixable.

Decreased job satisfaction

Outdated technology frustrates employees. A 2021 survey of 1,000 U.S. employees found that as many as 77% were frustrated with outdated technology. And 67% said they would take a pay cut if they could have the kind of technological efficiency at work that they have at home.

These survey results are compelling, especially since so many employees now are working from home (WFH).

Outdated tech hurts retention.

About 33% of respondents in the Zenbusiness survey say they will look for a new job out of frustration with their company’s outmoded systems. And the Unisys survey found that employees were 450% more likely to want to quit and work elsewhere because of outdated technology.

Old technology that can’t run efficiently on newer platforms fuels much of this frustration. Your employees will work around breakdowns, glitches, and delays for a while, but don’t be surprised if they eventually leave for opportunities elsewhere.

In short, outdated tech hurts retention.

Employer/employee differences

Employers and workers often see the same issues through different lenses, as they did in a Paycom survey over outdated technology: Here are the findings:

  • Although 80% of employees feel frustrated with outdated technology, only 54% of the C-suite think employees feel frustrated.
  • While 70% of employees said they were willing to accept a pay cut to get the same quality tech that they use in their personal lives, just 50% of executives think employees would swap their current pay for better technology.
  • About 70% of employees don’t think digital transformation is their company’s priority, but 2/3 of the C-suite say they’ve prioritized digital transformation, especially since the onset of the pandemic.

These survey results underscore the need for companies and employees to get past their differences for the sake of updating workplace technology.

Decreased cybersecurity

Cyber breaches are a greater risk to businesses that don’t upgrade their digital systems. Cybersecurity companies claim that hackers target SMBs more than bigger companies because they believe smaller firms won’t have the resources to prevent or interrupt breaches.

If you’re hesitant about protecting your company with the latest cybersecurity software, you may find these 2022-2023 statistics from Gartner enough to start upgrading:

  • Statistics show that 60% of IT experts are working remotely, which leaves your company at greater risk for cyberattacks. Gartner recommends that you upgrade and/or expand protection across your organization, including remote locations.
  • Misusing credentials is a chief method hackers use to conduct their crimes.
  • By 2025, 45% of businesses worldwide will face attacks on their software supply chains.
  • Human error is still a large part of cyberattacks. As a result, businesses need to make sure employees are trained in detecting, warding off, and disrupting workplace breaches.

The “bring your own device” to work wave occurred because employees said their own devices and connectivity allowed them to perform functions that their companies’ systems could not. Nevertheless, the movement creates cybersecurity risks for organizations.

Decreased competitiveness

A 2013 Intel Corporation study conducted by Techaisle found that SMBs with outdated technology are less competitive in attracting talent, protecting their systems from cybersecurity breaches, and raising productivity than businesses that update their technology.

Increased repair and maintenance needs

You may have a malfunctioning printer or other device that needs repairing. But with technology continuously advancing, digital devices, and even software, can quickly become obsolete. At some point, repairs will be a waste of time and money, both of which could be better spent on upgrades.

Also, tech support stops servicing computers, printers, and other devices as they’re phased out. In this case, you won’t have a choice but to upgrade. So, it’s better to be “ahead of the curve” and invest in modern technology.

Increased costs

According to numerous studies:

  • Ineffective communication can cost the workplace an average of $420,000 a year.
  • A code developer described on a StackExchange feed how outdated technology forced the IT specialist to leave a former job.
  • A 2019 Gallup poll found that disengagement among workers cost the U.S. economy between $483 billion and $605 billion.

What are the work from home technology challenges?

WFH means the “office” is anywhere employees happen to be. Keeping employees productive and engaged with employee time tracking and through virtual meetings requires state-of-the-art technology.

Aruna Ravichandran, Cisco’s Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for Webex Collaboration, shared with Workest the results of 1,403 executives and knowledge professionals who work remotely full time or in a hybrid work arrangement. Half work remotely 8 or more hours a month, and an overwhelming majority, 93%, are in video meetings 2 or more hours a day.

The survey, “The Data Behind Video Meeting Fatigue And How to Combat It,” found that among the respondents:

  • Less than half said they have the technology needed to WFH.
  • Technology shortcomings cause video fatigue and physical illnesses.
  • 95% suffer from video fatigue and believe a culture change and better technology will reduce it.
  • Top video meeting frustrations include video quality, poor sound, and background noise.
  • Data protection and security are among their top concerns for 2022.
  • 4 in 10 who planned to leave their current company in 2 years said they would stay if they had better meeting technology.

Since video meetings are now the norm, employers with remote workers should put tech upgrades on their priorities list.

What are software recommendations for tech updates?

Part of a tech update is knowing what state-of-the-art software is available, what each 1 does, and which will achieve the results your company wants.

Brandon Wilkes, marketing manager at The Big Phone Store, told Workest how his company operates a digital and remote workplace that he said achieves “maximum efficiency, productivity, and collaboration.”

Wilkes recommended software based on these end goals:

  • Strengthen communication and collaboration: Hold weekly company-wide video meetings using program apps designed for that purpose.
  • Prioritize work and track achievements. Use apps that manage workflow.
  • Simplify internal communication: Use task management software that boosts collaboration and efficiency. offers a list of productivity software. Also, you can find a list of virtual meeting platforms on such sites as and

The takeaway: It’s vital to update your digital connections

Studies and other data show that postponing technology updates could force frustrated employees out of your organization; cost you more money in repairs in the long run; result in more downtime of your systems; and hurt your ability to compete for talent, especially during an extended labor shortage.

Listening to your employees and customers and defining your digital goals will help you know if your technology needs updating.

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