When you start paying attention to the time that is lost to slow or inefficient technology – it adds up quickly. This research from Sharp says that the average office worker wastes 21 days every year thanks to outdated technology. And wasted time equals wasted money (not to mention potentially unhappy customers if network slowdowns or old technology prevents them from getting what they need).

Here are just a few of the potential effects of limping along with a legacy network instead of implementing up-to-date network infrastructure …

1. You could lose business

A survey conducted by Microsoft a few years ago says that 90% of consumers would consider taking their business elsewhere if they suspected that an organization is using outdated technology. The percentage may be even higher today, as technology becomes more vital to almost every aspect of every business.

2. You spend money that could go toward other initiatives

When it comes to the costs of legacy networks, we’re not just talking about what it costs to run them – we’re talking about total cost of ownership, which involves everything from maintenance and support to training and downtime.

Maintaining and fixing outdated networks can cost quite a bit of money. Today’s technicians and administrators may not be familiar with the equipment, troubleshooting may take longer, spare parts may be harder to locate – and network users may suffer from downtime or network lag until these things are resolved. Meanwhile, IT team members can’t focus on new initiatives because they’re spending too much time managing outdated infrastructure.

3. Your network becomes more vulnerable to security issues

Updates and patches for outdated software, applications and devices can be hard to find. In some cases, the manufacturer stops supporting the equipment completely – which means no updates or patches at all.

If your legacy network is operating with equipment and components that aren’t up to date, it is likely more vulnerable to cyberattacks and other security-related issues. Why? Because hackers have had more time to find vulnerabilities; they can quickly and efficiently find unprotected holes in a legacy network that isn’t protected. Depending on your organization, a network that is susceptible to security issues may also violate HIPAA or FERPA.

4. It can limit your business’ ability to transform digitally

If your legacy network struggles to keep up with the demands of today’s users and devices, it’s definitely not ready to support the future: convergence, digital buildings, the cloud and Internet of Things, for example.

While your competitors are benefitting from new levels of control and automation made possible through a digital building, your legacy network may leave you years behind. While their systems are able to collect and act on all types of data without human intervention, saving valuable time and optimizing processes, you’ll be spending your time trying to keep your legacy network up and running.

5. Employees may be limited in what they can do – and how fast they can do it

Today’s workers aren’t just sending emails and making phone calls. They’re creating, sending and collaborating on high-resolution, high-definition imagery and videography. They’re streaming large productions in real time. They’re capturing more data than ever about business processes and customers. If your legacy network doesn’t support the speed and bandwidth needed for these activities, this will significantly impact productivity and communication – and employees’ abilities to serve their customers well with fast responses and online collaboration.

An updated network that is designed to support new technology as it comes our way will help your business stay ahead of competitors, reduce the amount of time spend troubleshooting and fixing problems, decrease overall costs and improve productivity and staff efficiency.

Belden can help you design and implement a network that is ready to support the people, devices and applications using your network now – and the digital building technology and innovations that are up ahead. Learn more here.

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