13 Common Business Tech Investments That May Soon Be Obsolete
Every year, new technologies are released, many of which have the potential to completely change the way in which businesses operate. Yet, not all new technologies are a fit for your company, and some new tech may actually be obsolete before the investment can pay off.
Which business tech, whether upcoming or currently on the market, may be obsolete before it pays for itself? To gain insider advice, we asked members of Forbes Technology Council to share their thoughts.
- On-Premise Hosting and Data Centers
Investment in technology related to on-premise infrastructure or self-hosted data center compute that is not directly leading you to migrating these to the cloud is probably money wasted. With cloud solutions getting cheaper, faster, and more nimble and secure than self-managed and self-hosted ones, investment should be heavily focused on migrating older infrastructure to the cloud in order to reduce technical debt. - Ian Amit, Cimpress
- The Security Hamster Wheel
Security owns a strange place in IT operations and investment. Off-the-shelf security products are invariably immediately out-of-date yet still required to mitigate, or at least minimize, a volume of the threats facing organizations today. As such, organizations must continue to reassess and reinvest in security processes, tools and talent to navigate today’s ever-changing threat landscape. - Chris Rommel, VDC Research
- Black Box Testing
Some enterprises use annual disaster recovery drills as a way of validating their resilience strategy. These drills require a lot of preparation, investment and technology, but they typically fail, because such “Black Box Testing” cannot tolerate today’s high levels of ongoing change. You need to invest in a proactive approach that can detect the risks before they cascade into an outage. - Gil Hecht, Continuity Software
- Intranet Platforms
We see many organizations looking to develop in-house intranets as social portals or communication platforms. These efforts are derailed by too many priorities, and employees ultimately gravitate to more contemporary productivity tools. Having a well-curated ecosystem of third-party point solutions around collaboration, workplace culture and communications is a quicker and more productive approach. - Doug Claffey, Energage
- Blockchain Technology
Many companies have been trying to add blockchain to their tech infrastructure when it’s not needed. The last few years of blockchain hype have led people to ignore actual technological necessity: Many tasks that companies are solving today with complex blockchain solutions could be solved with more conventional approaches and a faster return on investment. - Artem Petrov, Reinvently
- Data Lakes
There has been a massive wave of investment in “data lakes”—large data warehouses that collect all of a business’ data into one place. However, cloud technology is accelerating so quickly that a data lake created today will be obsolete in a year as faster, better data storage platforms become available. The large investment now will become a liability in the future. - Sean Byrnes, Outlier AI
- Enterprise Resource Planning
The promise of ERP implementations: lower cost, increased business coordination and agility driven through the roof! The actuality of ERP implementations: increased licensing costs over time, a diminishing pool of vendors and data islands. Is this a factor of the software or the org and culture? I would venture to guess a bit of both A and B. Instead, focus on atomic business processes and tools. - David Espinosa, ITS Logistics
- Scaled Agile Framework
Investing in Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) can be part of a continuous improvement and delivery system, but ROI may not be worthwhile. Incomplete tasks get reprioritized during backlog grooming, which delays functionality. Then add the expense of agile software, SAFe training and cross-functional support. Ultimately, a non-agile approach might yield the same results. - Brian Patrick, GREENLIGHT Inc.
- AI (Or What We Think Is ‘AI’)
AI is evolving fast. AI was the rage in 2018 and will continue to hold everyone’s fascination in 2019. Companies are making hasty and heavy investments to acquire AI startups, technology platforms and new talent to “check the AI box and mark it done.” The myopic approach to AI is reminiscent of the dot-com days when almost everyone got e-commerce wrong and those left standing had to start over. - Apurva “Apu” Kumar, LotaData, Inc.
- 4G Technology
Companies that are releasing mobility solutions that are optimized for 4G and LTE experiences are at grave risk of not seeing an appropriate ROI. These solutions aren’t being future-proofed for the opportunities that the rollout of 5G hyperspeed data connectivity is going to bring to industries of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds and will be perceived as archaic by the consumer. - Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC
- Small To Midsize Routers
The reason that most routers are unnecessary is that Layer 3 switches have come down so much in price that you can replace a few switches at the top of the stack and achieve all of the routing capability needed, as well as improve throughput dramatically in the network. This is true if your compute systems are on premises or in the cloud. There still needs to be connectivity internally and externally. - Michael Meyer, MRS BPO, LLC
- Desktop Phones, Call Centers
Today we only have phones in conference rooms, and nobody has complained in two years. Call centers are being replaced by chat bots. Supply chain logistics are better done at scale by third parties right now. Webex and even Skype are archaic and a waste of money. Better, cheaper solutions are available. - Kamal Ahluwalia, Eightfold AI, Inc.
- Hardware Devices
Most companies still purchase too many hardware devices when in reality they don’t need them. Expensive networking equipment and even servers are not always necessary. Most equipment nowadays can be replaced by migrating to the cloud. Plus, expensive hardware will definitely be obsolete sooner than later. - Ivailо Nikolov, SiteGround
Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor Expert Panel, Forbes Technology Council.