In the digital economy, organizations that have undergone transformation may be tempted to rest on their laurels, to their peril.

Despite having spent time and money on setting up shiny new digitalization systems, enterprises have to face the fact that they cannot stand pat. Information management and technological innovation are constantly changing, and a set-it-and-forget-it approach to technology solutions is not going to help the business keep pace.

Technology is an investment, and like any investment in the business it must deliver the maximum returns. For that to happen, it must evolve in lockstep with the business. Optimizing technology investments is especially important when it relates to the organization’s ability to make the fullest use of its most valuable asset—data.

Another key point to bear in mind, is that simply sticking with outdated technology not only leads to missed opportunities; it can actually have negative impacts on the business.

Here are three reasons why keeping enterprise information systems current is mandatory.

  1. To keep up with fast-changing digital trends
    Regularly upgrading information management solutions gives companies access to new features that enhance productivity, eliminate bottlenecks and enhance corporate governance, compliance and security.

    Organizations may look back to an earlier investment decision and question why the solution they already bought has not fulfilled its promise to stay abreast of changes and keep improving productivity. The vendor was almost certainly being truthful, and productivity enhancements did take place at first, for a given set of assumptions. However, no vendor could realistically have anticipated the rise of remote-working, for example. The workforce is constantly evolving and facing new challenges that earlier solutions just cannot address.

    Productivity therefore lags, increasing costs for the organization, slowing time-to-market, and giving more nimble competitors the advantage. Upgrading information management solutions to empower employees is clearly a wise investment.

    Customer needs and expectations are also constantly changing. Retail customers often look for innovation to add novelty to their experience, while businesses want innovations that enhance agility and efficiency. In either case, enterprises must consider what functionalities their customers want. Technology upgrades help organizations provide their customers with the products and services they desire—with consequent improvements to the bottom line.
  2. To respond to fast-evolving cybersecurity needs
    The threat landscape continues to evolve rapidly, in both in the types of threats that organizations face and how frequently they occur. The conventional wisdom today is that organizations must expect to be targeted by cybercriminals. The global average cost of a data breach across ASEAN is US$2.71m per organization, with the time taken to identify and contain an attack rising to 287 days. 

    The fact is that older systems are more vulnerable to being hacked by cybercriminals. Greater familiarity with older software makes it easier for bad actors to constantly invent new ways to penetrate enterprises.

    Companies that do not upgrade their technologies are putting the security and integrity of the business at risk. The damage incurred is not limited to money—corporate reputation can suffer badly as consumer trust in the brand erodes, and there may be fines for breaches of corporate governance regulations.

    Enterprises have an absolute duty to shareholders, authorities, employees and customers to ensure information systems remain stable and secure with the latest security updates.
  3. To improve modernization and remain competitive
    As organizations scramble to keep pace with rapidly evolving market conditions, economic structure and consumer expectations, there are new technological advances every day.

    This is a two-edged sword: while the progression in innovation presents opportunity, it also raises the stakes. Choosing to opt out of modernization means that customer-facing technologies will become lackluster, and employees will be less supported in their jobs, impacting productivity and reducing the attraction of the organization as an employer. The end result is the loss of competitive edge in the market.

    By consistently upgrading technology, enterprises benefit from the most up-to-date user experiences and integrations. They can improve existing solutions and even build entirely new ones, expanding across the organization and the whole eco-system, from supply chain integration to end-user delight.

Now is the time for companies to upgrade their enterprise information management stack, particularly if it has not been done for some time, or if new upgrades have not been made available.

Organizations need to stay on top of functionality, security and modernity by ensuring their information systems are always as sophisticated and current as the enterprise itself.