After the reports that Microsoft has stopped support for Windows XP it has left many small business owners with questions on how to make sure they stay up to date with technology. Around a third of computers use Windows XP worldwide, including the government who spent £5 million in extending the deadline so that they could get support in moving from XP to a new system.
Released 13 years ago, there has since been three newer iterations of Windows, yet for many businesses XP was and still is a reliable piece of software.
However, without Microsoft’s continued support, machines that use Windows XP are more vulnerable to attacks from hackers, and will be less stable. So how can you ensure that you keep up to date with technology without it being complicated, costly and confusing?
Move to the cloud
Using cloud computing is a great way to ensure that all of your data is in a place which is secure and easily accessible no matter where you are and what computer or device you’re using to access it.
You can move your accounts to software like FreeAgent or Xero, and use programmes like Google Drive to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations. If used in conjunction with your own back up procedures, cloud storage is the ideal way for you to keep important files as it means that you rarely have to upgrade anything and you don’t have to fork out for costly software changes.
Consider alternative computers
Computers like Google’s Chromebook aren’t reliant on operating systems and instead use internet browsers to power the machine. It’s an easier computer to handle for those who aren’t up to date with technology as the computer will update automatically whenever it’s connected to the internet.
Using alternative till systems is also something you can consider. Instead of using old-fashioned clunky machines, using a tablet-based system can be ideal, especially if you’re working from a pop up shop. Tillify is just one example of this sort of application in action.
Keep everything updated
As with all software and computers, it will eventually become outdated. Make upgrading your software part of your business plan and be prepared to renew your computers and software every few years. Also remember to include updating your website in your budget – there’s nothing worse than seeing an outdated website which looks like it was designed in 1995!