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The risks and costs of an aging system

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Communications systems are the lifeline of a business as this is where your clients turn to when they need to reach you or when you need to reach them. With technology advancing at a rapid rate, conventional communications systems are no longer adequate enough to bridge the gap between you and your customer and are often the most overlooked piece of technology within a business.
Due to rapid advancements in technology, outdated systems pose risks if they are not updated when necessary. A few of these risks include increased security threats, the inability to support new business requirements and system failures.
Your communications systems and security may seem like two completely different entities, but they go hand-in-hand. Outdated security policies means that businesses with feudal communications systems have a higher chance of falling victim to toll fraud, an illegal activity similar to computer hacking only with mobile phones, calling cards, and pay phones.
“Toll fraud is responsible for huge revenue loss every year and thus, ensuring your communications systems remain up to date with the latest technology greatly mitigates the risk of your business falling victim to toll fraud,” explains Ravin Naidu, regional director: South Africa of ALE, marketed under the brand Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.
Another risk associated with outdated communications systems is the restrictions it places on you, your clients and your business.
“Although your systems may be working well for you and meeting your business’s requirements, the constraints it places on future interactions with your customers will become imminent. Business models need to change as readily as technology to ensure that you are continuously accommodating new standards, new features and new users,” Naidu adds.
System failure is the most damaging risk of all to a business. Data loss due to outdated systems can result in system downtime and, as is the case with many system failures that occur with older models, spare replacement parts are hard to come by as they are outdated and no longer in demand. The time required to repair older systems increases with age which means that investing in a newer, more technologically advanced infrastructure greatly reduces the risk of downtime should a system failure occur.
Although newer systems may come at a higher price, it is a long term investment for any business. “It is in every business owner’s interest to adapt to market changes and understand the latest that technology has to offer. By identifying the risks associated with ageing systems, you can eliminate potential downtime while boosting the longevity of your business,” concludes Naidu.