How much do you need to do to make your technology work together? If your business uses multiple systems, requires several converters, and relies on external expertise just to make technology talk to other technology, you need to simplify things.

Simplification is getting easier with every generation of technology, but with the market changing each day, it can be difficult to keep up. Right now, there’s a mixture of tech that works best within the same brand, as well as tech that works across different vendors.

When new technology becomes a necessity in your industry, you have to figure out if it works with your company’s old systems. While current tech standards and customer outreach require new tech to be compatible with once-popular technology, an easy conversion is not always guaranteed. Legacy technology may be necessary if it does something that no other tech does, or if the cost of switching to a new system is exceedingly expensive. Still, new technology should be a constant consideration, particularly if current technologies negatively impact productivity.

Old technology that operates slowly or requires extensive repairs should be replaced as soon as possible. While the price tag of this newer tech might be high, an investment in fast, effective technology is an investment in workplace productivity.

Issues of slow performance are more often than not based on the use of legacy systems. Sometimes, old systems either work better than new market items or people are simply more comfortable with the old technology and don’t want to change.

You need to weigh comfort and status quo against keeping up or reaching new heights. A bit of productivity loss during an upgrade is fine, but a steep learning curve may signal the indeed for a slower transition.

Early adoption is tempting and not always a bad idea, but your business needs the assets to offset potential losses. At the same time, waiting too long to adopt can lead to high replacement expenses. It’s important to adopt either early or at a solid midpoint. The best way to identify the upgrade sweet-spot is to gauge what your competitors are doing and which hardware and software they are using.

When converting to a new system, make sure that anything irreplaceable is either copied or can be replaced. When it comes to data, you will want copies that are tested and verified to be working before switching to a new system. These should be saved to a device that is separate from the network you’re upgrading. Once the update is complete, you can reintroduce the data to the system and encourage employees to play around with it and ask questions.