By Sharon Jones

We’ve all heard about frugal businesses that strive to make as much profit as possible by cutting down their own expenses. Some of us think that they’re being smart because, let’s face it, with all the technology we have nowadays we probably don’t need all of it and we could work by just using the bare basics. However, others think those businesses are just being cheap and they’re making it harder to be productive.

So to surprise, disgust or intrigue you, here are three obsolete technologies that companies all over the world are still using despite how outdated they are.

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Dial-Up Connections

Remember those deathly noises that your computer used to make when connecting to the internet? Thanks to cheap and accessible broadband connections we’ve largely let dial-up go. However, roughly 2.1 million people still use dial-up internet—and that’s just from AOL. There are a couple of businesses mixed into those numbers, and there are still dial-up providers which specifically target business. However, most of them don’t use dial-up as their main connection and instead, use it as a backup line in case their broadband service goes down.

PDAs

Remember those clunky devices people used to carry around for work? Well, they’re still being used but in very specific applications. They make great devices for data collection and note taking. For instance, they’re very useful for managing a warehouse, and some doctors use them to collect information from patients instead of using pen and paper. There are even businesses like Mobile Computer Repair that specialise in fixing PDAs of all makes and models. There’s still a niche market surrounding old technology because of how useful a dedicated device for a task can be.

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Fax Machines

Many businesses still use fax machines and you might even find fax numbers listed on contact details on major businesses. Despite all the digital advances we’ve made, it’s still easier to send a signature through a fax machine than it is to get a pen display or tablet device, sign a digital document, then send it via email just to have it printed. Instead of jumping through those hoops, people can simply sign a physical document and fax it straight to their recipient.

Old Computers and Laptops

Manufacturers constantly push their computer hardware. Advances are made every year and it gets cheaper and cheaper to obtain a powerful computer. However, for those who only focus on office tasks and such as data entry and writing documents, an old computer is all they need. Whether it’s Windows 98 or an older version of Mac, old computers still work fine and have enough power to enable office workers to do their jobs. Because the technology is so old, you can pick up an old computer for less than the price of a case for your phone, making it a very cheap investment.

Dumbphones

While many people are buying smartphones that have access to the internet so they can remain productive on the go, others are still using dumbphones that can’t even access 3G internet connections. These dumbphones cost a fraction of the price for a new Samsung or Apple phone, they send and receive calls without a problem, and business users typically carry a laptop for their productivity uses. Losing or having a business phone stolen is a big deal when it’s an expensive smartphone, but when it’s a cheap dumbphone, those losses are mitigated.