Using older tech devices saves money, but there is a point at which it can hurt business operations. Here are four signs that it might be time to update or replace some tech devices.
Small and mid-sized businesses usually have limited tech budgets, so it’s common for them to continue using their devices as long as possible. However, there is a point at which outdated tech devices become a burden and hurt business operations.
Here are four signs that it might be time to update or replace some tech devices in your business:
1. Employee Productivity Is Suffering
If your staff members have a lot of idle time because they are waiting for devices to perform tasks, it might be time to update or replace those items. For example, if employees have to constantly wait for data to download from shares on your wireless network, you might need a new Wi-Fi router. Older routers that support only the 802.11g, 802.11b, or 802.11a wireless specification have slower signal speeds compared their modern counterparts.
Similarly, if employees have to wait for resource-intensive apps to perform tasks, they might need computers with larger and faster hard disk drives or even solid state drives. Older computers typically have less RAM and processing power, so they might not be able to efficiently handle resource-intensive apps.
Employees might not even have the devices they need to do their jobs. For instance, employees who often travel for business might not have the mobile devices they need to work or stay in contact with the office when they are on the road.
2. Incompatibilities Are Encountered
It might be time for change when you cannot use new items with your existing tech devices because of incompatibilities. For example, you might not be able install the latest operating system on employees’ computers because those computers do not meet the minimum hardware specifications. Even worse, you might not be able to install a new business app on their computers because the operating system is outdated, but you cannot upgrade the operating system because the hardware is old (the technical domino effect). Remember, Windows 7 will reach end of life in January 2020. You should start planning now.
Incompatible plugs and ports can also signal that it is time for new devices. For instance, you might have a new peripheral device that requires a USB-C plug, which your computer does not have. Or, you might not be able to connect a new computer to an existing monitor because the monitor has a VGA plug while the computer has an HDMI port. Although adapters can solve some incompatibility issues, they often result in slower speeds and lower resolutions.
3. A Device Is Constantly Experiencing Problems
If an older device is constantly experiencing problems, it might be time to replace it. For example, files might mysteriously go missing on a computer and apps might constantly freeze or crash for no apparent reason. These are signs that a computer’s hard drive might be failing.
4. Sales Are Suffering
If sales are suffering because of intermittent technology issues on older devices, it might be time to update or replace them. For instance, customers might be turning to competitors because your old website server slows to a crawl during peak usage times. Deciding whether to replace or update an older device that still works — but not very efficiently or effectively — can be a tough decision. However, it is usually worth it in the long run.
Is Outdated Technology Hurting Your Business?
Sometimes, it is obvious when problems occur because of outdated technology. Other times, it is not that cut and dry. We can assess the situation to determine whether the problems are due to old tech devices or some other issue.