Don’t ignore the risks of an outdated IT infrastructure.

A State of Work Report by Samanage in 2016 found that businesses lose over $13,000 per year, per employee, on unproductive tasks, many, due to outdated technology. Inthis same study, 36.8% of working adults reported their company’s technology wasoutdated.

It’s easy to understand why many medical, dental, and other professional practicesleave well enough alone when it comes to technology. Doing nothing is easy anddoesn’t require time or money. In the case of medical practices, many are skepticalabout the ROI of new systems and don’t think the effort and expense will be worth it, orthey are resistant to change and comfortable with the way things are. However, sticking with obsolete IT infrastructure comes with real costs and risks, including:

  • ·  Heightened risk of security breaches, information theft, and data loss
  • ·  Inability to automate tasks and implement modern, efficient processes—which can hurt productivity and quality of care

· Inefficient use of staff time dealing with tasks that could otherwise be automated with newer technologies – taking their time away from patients.

· Lack of manufacturer support for obsolete technology

Outdated technology also increases the risk of costly downtime. The Ponemon Institute Cost of Data Center Outages found that in 2016, 54% of businesses had experienced a downtime incident lasting at least eight hours in the past five years, and 67% of those businesses estimated the cost of a site outage at $20,000 or more per day.

In another study, just one hour of downtime was found to cost an average of $8,000 for a small business and $74,000 for a mid-sized business.

On the whole, the cost of downtime has increased 38% since 2010.

· Downtime costs for the most data-center-dependent businesses are rising faster than average. Maximum downtime costs have increased 32% since 2013 and 81% since 2010, and cybercrime represents the fastest growing cause of data center outages, rising from 2% of outages in 2010 to 22% in 2016.

Just a few hours of downtime can have major consequences for a medical or dental practice in that, you may have to notify patients and reschedule appointments, your staff many not have access to patients’ files and patients may become frustrated and dissatisfied with your practice.

Arevtech’s seven steps to a healthy, modern IT infrastructure

At Arevtech, we provide seven steps to a ensuring our clients’ practices and IT infrastructure stay healthy:

1. Assess your infrastructure – Auditing your IT infrastructure, identifying all devices accessing your network, creating a list of applications and their licenses, and noting when computers and apps are updated.

2. Assess and rank your vulnerabilities – Scoring and ranking risks to prioritize improvement efforts and focus on your most critical vulnerabilities.

3. Address your vulnerabilities – Addressing critical vulnerabilities (e.g., patient data security) then upgrading or replacing hardware and installing software updates and patches.

4. Eliminate unnecessary and unauthorized components – Removing unneeded, outdated or unsupported technology that slows down your system.

5. Ensure your compliance – Ensuring compliance with regulations such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS.

6. Implement a modern monitoring and alerting process – Leveraging the latest remote monitoring and alerting technologies to identify and address security risks, performance risks, and other potential IT issues.

7. Get regular guidance from a CIO-level expert ‒ Monitoring you IT, recognizingwhen to update your infrastructure and deploying best practices to meet the future IT needs of your practice.

Arevtech has invested years of experience keeping dental practices running efficiently and securely, while keeping IT spending on budget. With our Virtual CIO service, we’vehelped many practices modernize their IT as we provide ongoing, affordable, CIO-level guidance to address future challenges. As the latest technologies emerge, we help dental and medical practices leverage them to run more productively and ensure compliance with critical regulations.

Ron Vasely is the president and founder of Arevtech, a premiere IT service and solution provider specializing in the unique computer and technology needs of dental practices.