Companies across the globe believe in harnessing the latest state-of-the-art equipment to ensure their operations run smoothly. During 2019, the global spend on IT equipment topped $3.7 billion, and forecasters predict a further 3.7% increase in these figures for this year.
In this rapidly-changing and competitive environment, it makes sense to ensure your IT-game is on point if you want to stay ahead.
How much did you spend on updating your business technology last year?
Is it Time You Upgraded Your Business IT Equipment?
As a general rule, you should upgrade your technology at least every 18 months to stay abreast of the latest innovations. Yet, many business owners attempt to push this out as long as possible – until the tell-tale signs of technological decay set it.
These are the signs you need to put your IT assets out to pasture:
Low Productivity and High Incidences of Downtime
Slow systems and lapses in connectivity are a sign that your IT equipment’s seen better days.
The usual causes behind this are faulty servers, outdated software, or poor internet connectivity.
These incidences cause frustration, flagging morale, and low productivity among your employees. This combination of sagging spirits and poor technological performance holds your company back.
Ask your managers to keep you updated on the situation so you can get an IT specialist to devise a new solution for your business.
Your Company is Growing or Changing Direction
Remember when you were just starting? Back in those days, you could run your company with a single laptop and wi-fi from your smartphone.
Since then, your technology’s grown with your business and it should continue to do so. With the rapid pace of tech advancements nowadays, there will never be a time when your company’s IT infrastructure is completely up to date.
Stay on top of the latest developments and make sure your technology isn’t holding your business back.
Likewise, any changes in your business mean you need to look at new ways to do things across the board. The best place to start is with more streamlined and efficient IT equipment.
According to studies by the University of Maryland, hackers strike at least every 39 seconds around-the-clock in the modern world.
Has your business fallen prey to one of these opportunists lately? Perhaps you’ve experienced a niggling bot attack or even a major data breach. Your outdated IT systems are probably to blame.
Modern virus programs run more effectively on the latest tech. They’re never totally compatible with older technology. That makes your outdated systems vulnerable to attack.
Inconsistency In Your Systems
Running a successful business depends on efficient interactions and standardization between your departments.
Unless your technology fosters harmonious integration across your company, each manager ends up measuring their targets against different benchmarks. This makes it difficult to oversee your business as a whole.
Ideally, you want one system across the board when it comes to measuring performance and reporting.
Should You Repair, Upgrade, or Replace Company Equipment?
Depending on the age of your existing equipment, upgrading your memory and hard drives might make better financial sense than buying new IT equipment. Sometimes, you can also add newer technology like Wi-Fi network adaptors to outdated machines too.
Yet, if the cost of an upgrade works out to more than half the cost of a new model, rather opt to replace your older technology. The newer model will work out better value in the long run, especially now while the annual seasonal cyber sales are in full swing.
When it comes to repairing broken equipment, the same rule applies. Equipment like printers become cheaper as manufacturers release new models. In some instances, you can even buy a new printer for less than what you paid for your old one.
Apart from the spares needed, you’ll have to pay a skilled technician for their time when you repair a machine. Buying a new one usually works out cheaper than paying for extensive repairs.
The Pros and Cons of Leasing vs Buying New Equipment
Perhaps you’re toying with the idea of leasing your office and IT equipment instead of buying new items on an ongoing basis? At the outset, leasing’s a cheaper cash-up-front option, but it does have drawbacks too.
These are the pros and cons of leasing versus buying office equipment:
Leasing’s a popular option for small businesses. That’s because they don’t have to pay high costs upfront for a full portfolio of office equipment.
Always compare the monthly costs of financing your office equipment against the monthly rental costs before you go this route. Sometimes, you’ll end up paying less for a new machine than a leased one over the long term.
If you are paying cash for your IT purchases, these high upfront costs can force you to invest in equipment that’s less than ideal for your business though.
Leasing’s a good option for equipment that you need to replace regularly. That way, you don’t need to worry about recycling your old machines when you replace them.
With most lease agreements, you’ll receive regular updates on your equipment as part of your contract. However, sometimes the lease arrangement extends beyond the useful lifespan of the equipment, so you’re left paying for machines you no longer need.
You can also experience delays if you need repairs to your business technology since you’re bound to contact your lessor whenever you need something fixed or updated.
When you own your office equipment, you can hire a technician of your choice and upgrade your equipment as you see fit.
You also get better tax benefits when you buy your company technology outright.
Key Pointers for a First-Class IT Upgrade
So, now you’ve realized you need to upgrade your IT assets fast, where do you start? Your current IT vendor is likely to have some suggestions so consult them first.
These are some of the things to consider when upgrading your IT equipment:
One of the most important things to remember when updating your IT equipment is integration.
Each computer in your organization should have the ability to interact and connect with all the others. In this way, you’ll ensure continued collaboration between departments as well as better productivity.
Consider Cloud Software
Migrating to the cloud is a good way to save on maintenance costs.
With cloud computing, it’s easy to ensure the accessibility your company needs. Greater accessibility means increased efficiency and streamlined processes throughout your business.
Software as a Service is the modern alternative to the usual software installation options. It usually costs less, it ready for use immediately, and is totally scalable and integrative.
Upgrades are super-simple and quick with SaaS software too.
CRM applications are a boon for larger companies with many employees. Through this, colleagues can communicate efficiently and quickly without resorting to email.
Centralized CRM applications provide collective, customer-specific data, and access to action items needing attention. Users can also search for real-time information and to eliminate waiting around for answers from absent colleagues.
Focus on Bottlenecks
Installing all the latest conveniences like CRM applications and SaaS won’t benefit your company if they aren’t solving the original problems your company had.
Before you upgrade your technology take time to analyze problem areas and implement systems to address those specific issues. Sometimes you need to resolve these issues with non-technological fixes.
Options for Recycling Business Equipment
Millions of tons of IT equipment ends up in landfills and littering our oceans every year. These items degrade into harmful chemicals that poison our planet’s water and soil resources.
Don’t contribute to this problem.
There are plenty of charities who’ll happily take your old office equipment off your hands and you can also recycle your office equipment.
These items contain glass, plastic, and metals which are all recyclable materials.
Some companies specialize in collecting and recycling office equipment and several manufacturers and retailers will gladly accept your old office equipment for recycling too.
Prepare for the Future
If you want to stay ahead in business, it’s important to keep abreast of the latest advancements and innovations in the technological realm.
Keeping your IT equipment up to scratch is one way to ensure you stay ahead of the pack but the real power lies with information.
Browse some more of our blog articles to ensure you’re on track with all the latest tips you need to keep your business operating at its best.