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17 Nov 2023

9 ways outdated IT infrastructure management hurts

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, maintaining up-to-date IT infrastructure management is crucial for businesses to stay competitive. Old systems hinder operational efficiency and pose significant risks to data security and overall business growth.

IT infrastructure management involves overseeing IT policies and processes, as well as managing the necessary equipment, data, human resources, and external contacts like vendors or security organisations. This ensures the seamless and efficient operation of IT activities.

1. Reduced efficiency and productivity

Obsolete IT infrastructure often leads to reduced efficiency and productivity among employees. According to a Microsoft study, using obsolete technology can reduce productivity by as much as 40%. This is because older systems are typically slower, more prone to crashes, and less compatible with newer applications and software. These inefficiencies can lead to longer project timelines and increased operational costs.

2. Increased security vulnerabilities

Security is a significant concern with outdated IT systems. A report by the Ponemon Institute revealed that 60% of breaches could have been prevented with an updated security patch. Older systems often have unpatched vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. This risks the security of sensitive company data and customer information, potentially leading to legal repercussions and a damaged reputation.

3. High maintenance costs

Maintaining old systems can be relatively expensive. Gartner reports that the cost of maintaining legacy systems can account for as much as 75% of a company’s IT budget. These costs include direct expenses for repairs and maintenance and indirect costs like lost productivity and opportunities due to system downtimes.

4. Incompatibility with new technologies

Outdated IT infrastructure management can hinder a business’s ability to adopt new technologies. New software and tools often require updated systems to function optimally. This incompatibility can prevent companies from leveraging cutting-edge technologies, ultimately affecting their competitive edge in the market.

5. Impact on employee morale and retention

Working with legacy tech can frustrate employees and impact their morale. A Dell study found that 42% of millennials (people born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s) are likely to quit a job due to substandard technology. This highlights the importance of modern IT infrastructure in employee satisfaction and retention.

6. Difficulty in meeting compliance requirements

Obsolete systems can make it difficult for businesses to meet regulatory compliance requirements. Many industries have specific regulations regarding data protection, and compliance due to outdated systems can result in hefty fines and legal issues. For instance, the GDPR in the European Union imposes strict data protection requirements, and non-compliance can lead to penalties of up to 4% of annual global turnover.

7. Reduced customer satisfaction

In an age where customers expect fast and efficient service, yesterday's infrastructure can lead to longer response times and reduced service quality. This can have a direct impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. According to Salesforce, 57% of people have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience, which often includes better technology and faster service.

8. Limited scalability

As businesses grow, their IT needs evolve. Outdated IT infrastructure needs to have the scalability required to support business expansion. This limitation can impede growth and make it challenging for businesses to adapt to changing market demands.

9. Environmental impact

Older IT systems are often less energy-efficient, leading to high energy consumption and a bigger carbon footprint. A Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study indicated that modern, energy-efficient data centres could lead to a 40% reduction in energy use.


The impacts of outdated IT infrastructure management are far-reaching, affecting everything from operational efficiency to security, employee morale, and environmental sustainability. Bill Gates notes, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

Therefore, it’s imperative for businesses to regularly evaluate and update critical infrastructure to stay relevant, efficient, and secure in today’s digital world.

Graham Smith

By Graham Smith