A Guide to Upgrading Your Business’ Old Tech – and Saving Money

July 5th, 2014

Pile of Old CRT Monitors

Hanging on to old technology has been a trend with businesses for many years and this article looks at whether this is saving money or actually costing a business more than if they upgraded.

Why we don’t upgrade

The main reason businesses don’t upgrade is because they don’t want to spend the money. And this is understandable, given the current economic climate and the need to make savings wherever possible.

Other reasons given include:

  • If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
  • This is how we’ve always done things
  • New software will require training, which is an added expense
  • We can’t afford the time or the downtime.

While these arguments may seem valid, the reality is that by not upgrading, the cost to a business can be many times more than if they upgraded to new technology.

Why we should upgrade

There are several important reasons why a business should upgrade its technology. These include:

  • Hardware failure – all hardware fails eventually and when it does and you aren’t prepared for it, the amount of downtime can be substantially more than the time it takes to upgrade.
  • Conflict – when old operating systems are kept running, software updates can render them incompatible and valuable IT time must be used working around them.
  • No support – eventually software developers will no longer support older software, as evidenced by Microsoft’s recent suspension of support for Windows XP.
  • Client incompatibility – if clients upgrade their systems, a business with older technology may not be able to service them effectively or even at all.
  • Increased security threats – older software contains less security features and is more vulnerable to hacking, viruses and malware.
  • Lower productivity – slower processing speeds in older hardware means more wasted time and less productivity.
  • Reduced competitiveness – businesses using old technology can lose their competitive edge and may be viewed by their clients as being behind the times.

If all that hasn’t convinced you that you should upgrade your technology, here are a few statistics that might change your mind:

  • The average small business in the US spends around $427 repairing each computer that is four years or older.
  • Twice as many work hours a year are lost repairing older computers (42 hours) than repairing computers less than four years old (21 hours).
  • An old computer can take up to 10 to 15 minutes to reboot and even once a day, this equates to 1.25 hours a week lost time per employee or 60 hours per year – that’s 2 whole weeks of lost productivity!

Upgrade now and save

The average age of a computer these days is 4.4 years old, which is not far short of five years, its maximum life span, according to many experts. So if your business hardware is reaching the five year mark, now is definitely the time to upgrade.

If you do, you’ll not only improve productivity through faster speeds and access to more efficient business tools, but you’ll actually save money. A recent US study found that a business with two old and three new computers could save $1,500 a year in downtime and maintenance costs simply by replacing the two older computers.

And upgrading doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. A maintenance check of your current technology will quickly reveal what needs upgrading. So give it some thought and talk to your IT department, because at the end of the day, the cost of doing nothing will far outweigh any investment you make now in new business technology.

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