When is the right time to upgrade your technology? How do you decide what to upgrade and how do you upgrade it? Are you getting the most value out of your current IT? How do you figure out what technology to upgrade in order to maximize ROI on your investments?
You can start by asking the following questions about your IT systems:
- Have things gotten slow or sluggish, even during quieter times of the day?
- Are there certain tasks that are taking longer to get done than they used to?
Can you pinpoint certain technologies that may be affecting the time it takes to do certain parts of your work?
- When was the last time your software and hardware was upgraded? What kind of change was made – was it a license renewal? Hardware refresh?
- Has the size of your staff changed, or has your operations undergone changes that may be affecting the use of the current technologies in place?
This is just a few starter questions to get the gears turning, but the bigger question is this:
Do you feel as though your technology is helping you succeed, or might it be holding you back?
Identify and Leverage Your IT Resources
Keep in mind that even the most seemingly simple refreshes or upgrades can become challenging without a deliberate, calculated approach. You might be risking voiding a warranty or worse by attempting something without truly having the knowledge and skillets to get these things done.
If you have a service level agreement in place with an IT resource, take advantage of that. If you don’t, are there technical resources you can leverage to have this performed?
As a business owner you know that time is money, and you might be grossly underestimating the level of effort it may require a non-specialist to take care of a task as opposed to finding a skilled resource for that.
Should you repair or replace?
Have you looked at what might cost you more?
Does everything still support all the software you require to run your business?
Is the device still fully supported? If not, why not, and will that be resolved with a newer model or a variant of the current hardware?
There are multiple considerations that come into play when making that decision. You can read more about this in our recent blog post on the topic, which will walk you through the sorts of questions to be asking and how to calculate to compare costs and investments involved.
What Are Your Needs?
It is so important to evaluate your current technologies and decipher whether they’re meeting the mark in terms of cost, value, reliability, and the like.
Consider the following potential benefits of technology in place:
- Security: Is your technology protecting your data and assets appropriately, both in terms of your expectations and as required by compliance regulations you may be subject to?
- Functionality: Are there certain technologies in your business that are capable of multi-functioning? For instance, how about a printer/scanner combo, or a laptop/tablet hybrid? Would that help any components of your operations in terms of what you’re hoping to achieve or improve upon?
- Energy efficiency: Are your devices Energy Star recognized? Do they employ smart power features to offer energy savings? Older machines and equipment are likely to be less environmentally responsible, but of course this isn’t an absolute.
- Enhancing productivity: What are the perceived shortcomings of your current methods for using technology and your current tools in place? What would upgrades or refreshes be doing to “solve” those concerns?
The idea is that newer IT would make your workforce more productive, but that’s assuming the training and skill-sets and workflows are mapped out and put in place. Consider the ramp-up process in order to realistically set expectations for any changes in your environment.
- Predictability and reliability: The most expensive option isn’t always the best option for your business; however, it can be dangerous to just go with the lowest price just because it will save your business a few bucks. Ensure that your review of options is comprehensive in order to build more assurance that you’re making the best choice for your business based on your unique needs and goals.
Our approach to this is our business discovery and technology assessment, which seeks to understand the operational use cases and intentions of the current infrastructure and tools as those related to the company’s overarching goals and objectives.
Whether to Upgrade Your Technology
All of the above is assuming you’re also keeping up with current available technologies and trends so that you can stay competitive in your industry.
Get in touch with us to schedule a technology assessment and business discovery for your business before making IT changes or upgrade your technology. We’ll help you ensure maximum ROI when you do make any changes!