Technology evolves every day, and its evolution quickens. Just take a look at the advancement of Apple products – from the Mac to the iPod to the iPhone. In addition to the changes in outward appearance of Apple products, users are able to do more with the technology in their hands.
The same evolution applies to technology in the workplace. As with Apple products, workplace technology evolves to enhance the capabilities of the user. The difference is that the smooth operation of workplace technology relies on an IT department backed by a sound strategy and smart technology investments.
When Apple releases a new product, users rally for the chance to be the first to own it, or they cope with the feeling of being left behind. But with new business technology – integral to increasing employees’ productivity and improving workflows – should you be quick to upgrade?
How Old Is Your Latest Technology?
If your old technology is well maintained (though you may be in the minority), you might be able to put off upgrades for the time being. But, the truth is that outdated technology increases business costs and decreases employee productivity.
A few costs are associated with updating old technology:
- Migration & Installation
The right technology partner offering the right technology software and support helps mitigate these costs. This partner also allows for a sturdier foundation for future technology upgrades and business opportunities.
As noted in a past blog, a recent Microsoft study has shown that “more than 90% of consumers would consider taking their business elsewhere” rather than partner with a company operating under outdated technology. Who wants to be the one to break the news to your customers that your systems are incompatible with theirs because your technology is a few versions old?
Tips To Make Smarter Technology Investments
- Don’t stretch outdated technology.
When making technology investments, don’t buy for what you have. Instead, buy for the anticipated growth and direction of your company. Purchase computers and laptops with sufficient storage, and invest in servers with appropriate space and processing power.
- Invest in backup technology and disaster recovery solutions.
Don’t wait until your support contract runs out to think about a backup plan. Utilize data reports and system monitoring tools to tell you when your systems are slowing and risking employee and overall business productivity. Remember: No business experiences 100% uptime, even with the best software solution and IT system in place. But, it’s important to set an uptime standard and shoot for monthly attainments. A good standard contributes to employee productivity and business profitability.
- Don’t overspend. Invest in technology to support future business growth.
While you should consider technology forecasting in light of your business plan, it’s smarter to invest in a streamlined software system for the next few years rather than rally for the latest innovative technology, especially if your business is growing more quickly than anticipated. If your company is increasing in size faster than expected, you may only be able to afford what you’ll need two or three years from now, and that’s okay.
Proper business technology management involves an understanding of business needs, opportunities and challenges. An IT strategy should align with new technology investments and initiatives. The framework behind the strategy considers departmental needs and desires without over-scoping.
The urge to invest in the latest technology is reflexive, but the proper IT partner helps with prioritizing division imperatives and aligning needs with the proper solution.
After you’ve identified your new technology piece, you need a team to provide support and guidance throughout ownership. Download our free whitepaper, 12 Questions To Ask A Potential Managed IT Services Partner, to ask the right questions and partner with the right firm.