Technology is moving at an increasingly fast rate. It seems as though your latest laptop or tablet is already obsolete by the time you’ve walked out of the shop. If you don’t have the most up to date tech, you could run into compatibility and functionality issues. This is especially problematic for businesses, who want to ensure that they don’t fall behind. The financial pressures of updating your company’s tech are rather large. Software updates are usually released on a yearly basis and buying a license for all of the computers, as well as the portable devices and servers can prove incredibly expensive. Not to mention hardware the hardware upgrades that are necessary to run more modern software.
The majority of businesses, particularly those in the early stages, will want to cut spending and holding off on expensive Technology upgrades is often a good way of doing this. So, how long can businesses wait before they absolutely have to upgrade their tech?
Signs That you Should Upgrade
Trying to decide on the best time to upgrade your company’s tech means looking for the tell-tale signs that it is struggling to take the strain.
It is important that your tech is compatible with the software that your employees are using at home. With the rise of portable, mobile technology, business is increasingly being carried out on the move. If your employees cannot transfer seamlessly between work and home computers, for example, they will be much less efficient. Their output at home will decrease and the workload will pile up on them. Technology is a big part of almost every aspect of our lives. Your employees will become familiar with the technology that they are using all the time in their personal lives. If this differs wildly from the technology they are using in the workplace, they will be much less proficient at using it. If the gap between personal and professional technology is widening in a big way, this is a sign that you might need to think about upgrading.
You also need to ask yourself what you want from the technology your company uses. For example, do you need employees to be able to access it from anywhere, or do you need to be able to monitor the things that they are using it for? If your current systems do not fulfill these requirements, then you need to look at modernizing it. You may not need to upgrade everything either, if you can get away with just modernizing one area of your tech, this will save money.
The other business that you deal with are also an important consideration. If they are using updated tech that is incompatible with yours, you will run into issues and could lose business. It also looks very unprofessional if your business is using an operating system that has been obsolete for five years. Clients will be wary of dealing with a company that doesn’t keep on top of technological advancements. If businesses in your field are changing the way that they operate to incorporate technological advances, you need to keep up with this, otherwise the competition will leave you behind. A good example of this is cloud computing. Most companies these days use it and it can increase the speed and efficiency of an entire organization. If you don’t have cloud computing capabilities, the services you can offer will be second to your competitors.
There are separate considerations to be made when deciding if you need to upgrade your hardware. The effects of outdated hardware are often more physical than outdated software. If your computers are running at a snail’s pace, then upgrading the software won’t do anything to alleviate this. Technology that runs slowly can bring the whole operation grinding to a halt. Employees will take longer on every single tasks and efficiency will go out of the window. You might be able to get away with holding out on software upgrades for a bit longer, but you are putting yourself at risk if you continue using outdated hardware.
What to Look For When you Upgrade
If you’ve assessed the systems that your company uses, and decided that it is time for an upgrade, there are a few things you need to consider.
New technologies can often save your company money, so although you’ll have to invest a lot upfront, you could be better off in the long run. Lots of companies at the moment are moving towards virtualization software. This can emulate a complete computer system without the need for lots of large servers. This will save you money on repeatedly upgrading hardware. If you use a separate space to store your servers, the costs of this will also be eliminated. The financial savings, as well as the time savings, can be passed onto customers, improving their experience and hopefully getting you repeat business.
However, virtualization is not the best option for some businesses. It requires a very large upfront investment that you may not be able to afford. You would also need to completely retrain staff to use the new software, so a lot of time and money needs to be put into the switch to virtualization software.
If you are going to stick with traditional hardware systems, you need to shop around for the best price. There are plenty of companies like digisemi out there that offer low cost solutions that can take the sting out of upgrading your tech. Consider the amount of money you are spending to upgrade your tech, and then compare this with the amount of money that the upgrades are going to save you. If the first figure is much higher than the second, you need to find a cheaper alternative.
When looking at new software, it is best to look at other businesses in your field and see what they are using. If there is an industry standard that most companies seem to be using, there is probably a reason for this. If you are only planning on upgrading one certain area of your tech, you need to make sure that it will be compatible with the rest of the systems you use.
This should have cleared up a few questions about whether to upgrade your tech, and how to go about it when you do.