Upgrading Office Tech? Here’s What You Need to Know
Spend you technology dollars wisely—it could save you in the long run
No matter the size of your company, every investment matters, and that’s no different when it comes to how to spend your technology dollars. For many businesses, however, the decision to update office technology—computers, mobile devices, software and hardware—can be overwhelming and costly.
The fact is, upgrades are inevitable. Whether a business is growing or systems are simply outdated, the time comes when every company has to consider bringing in new technology. The good news is, upgrading has many long term benefits, including increased productivity, more effective communication and cost savings.
Before you begin, here’s what your business should consider.
Your business is growing
If you’re expanding your business, hiring employees, or adding products or services, it’s time to look at an upgrade. This could be as simple as adding more bandwidth for faster internet access, upgrading your network security or even providing employees with tools they can use while out of the office—such as laptops or tablets so that they can remain productive remotely.
Constant technology problems
If your system is crashing daily or your computers are so old they can’t handle simple software updates, it’s time for an upgrade. Technology should not interfere with your day-to-day operations. Older systems are generally prone to more issues, while newer technology generally requires less maintenance and upkeep.
The “duct-taped” solution isn’t holding
Many businesses add technology at different times as they grow. Eventually, they have a piecemeal system that is out-of-date and incompatible. Review the return on investment on what you would need to upgrade your system to a uniform standard.
TIP: Before you upgrade, ask your employees for suggestions and find out what is or isn’t working for them. This information will help you figure out what you need most. Once you decide what your business needs, create a wish list of items your business would benefit from. Then, set a budget and review your options. Your sales team might want tablets, but your budget might say smartphones.
You want better security
Exposing your crucial business and customer data to hackers and cyber attacks is not a risk businesses can afford to take anymore. In most cases, old technology is more vulnerable to security breaches. Criminals often set their sights on older technology because they know it might not be protected with the latest software or patches.
What you can afford to wait on
Sometimes, you just don’t need to upgrade because what you have works well and there hasn’t been a giant leap in technology to improve the quality or speed:
The reality of technology is that we are becoming increasingly paperless. If you have an older printer but your business does not print a high volume of documents, a new printer might not be necessary. If you print or copy a lot, however, you might want to look into a new all-in-one printer that prints, copies, scans and even sends faxes.
If you only have a few people working from your central office, your current router will probably suffice. But if you have many machines moving a lot of data, such as streaming video off a server, you will want a router that can handle more bandwidth and speed (like 100Mb or 1Gb).
Unless you are in the field of 3D graphics or video rendering, the resolution on your computer will not make a huge difference in day-to-day office work. A dim computer that causes eye strain should be repaired or replaced, but making a major update to high-resolution monitors (such as 4K) is not a necessity.
What you should consider upgrading
Computers and devices
This could mean upgrading from a desktop to a laptop, your smartphone and even your tablet. Signs that it’s time to upgrade include:
+ Your hardware is dying, the batteries no longer charge the device, or the screen has dead pixels (black spots, instead of color).
+ The device is no longer supported with software updates, which leaves it vulnerable to viruses that could attack at any time.
The faster your internet connection, the more you can do at one time (upload, download, stream, send emails with large attachments, research, video conference). This also means resolving any network issues or adding wireless connections so it’s easier to connect to the internet with additional devices.
Customer service is always a top priority, and the right phone system can help. Check out business phone systems with an auto-attendant feature. Auto attendants can direct calls to the right department, state your business hours, promote your business and much more.
If it’s been a while since your last website update, now would be a good time to give it a fresh look. Consider adding more content or a simple form, so you can engage customer feedback and gather data. If you do not have awebsite, it is something you should look at adding. It can be as simple as your company name and logo, hours of business, contact information, a short description of what your business does and a frequently-asked-questions page.