Have you experienced the pain of losing your work? Perhaps you’re sick of the systems you have not talking to each other. Or is your tech always the best in the biz, and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
While there are of course arguments against updating your business tech, there are equally powerful reasons why it might be a good idea.
We’ve got a list of pros and cons for updating business technology to help you make the decision that’s right for your business. Let’s start of the with reasons in support of updating your old tech.
Pro #1—Slow computers are costing you more than your patience
Estimating the real cost of outdated or slow technology in your business can be messy at best. But there are ways to do it. One estimate puts the total cost for your business at $5,676 per employee each year.
This number comes after taking into account time lost while waiting and potential opportunities lost, otherwise known as Opportunity Cost. And if we look at the yearly period, that amount works out to one tenth of an average salary!
When you look at the numbers in that light, investing in updated technology at regular intervals looks like it pays for itself and more over time.
Pro #2—Some software updates and patches are unavailable for old devices
‘Oh it works fine, it just needs a little tweaking.’ This is no longer always true. Why? Because technology has developed so quickly that it’s not viable for companies to keep trying to bridge the gap between old and new.
Some might think this will become more of an issue in future, but it’s already happening now. For example, XP machines can no longer be updated or patched. As of next year, Windows 7—still common on many devices—will be the same.
And think about the reduced quality of the work your business is producing with software that is slowly degrading, with the old tech simultaneously increasing the risk from malware like viruses, worms and spyware.
Pro #3—SaaS services don’t have an upgrade project cost
Whether you’re considering your CapEx or OpEx accounts, SaaS services can be a pretty amazing option for most businesses. One of the most attractive things about SaaS is that you don’t have to budget for upgrades. Of course, you have to choose a service that will support your business needs and in cases where you receive heavy traffic, that will include a premium.
However, removing the cost of upgrades from your projects is a definite win for a company. And it means that you’re serious about reducing your risk and reaping the benefits of the latest tech, making you a more credible business.
Pro #4—You want the latest and greatest
Some people spend big on cars. Others get beauty treatments or the finest jacket. Businesses might reward people with a myriad of items. But increasingly, people are investing in the latest tech on the market.
The appeal is obvious. A new Surface Pro or iPhone is always going to have the best tech available at the time, so you know you’re getting bang for your buck. And in most cases, you know it’s a step up from your current user experience.
And if we think about our earlier argument with the potential cost of old tech at more than $5000 per employee, $1000 on a product is a comparatively low amount.
Now let’s turn to our cons. We’ve got three reasons why upgrading your business technology might not be your best bet.
Con #1—Legacy lines of business apps won’t always be supported
As with tech companies pulling support for old products, legacy lines of your business apps—assuming they still receive support—might no longer be supported in the near future. We’ve already seen some legacy web apps left behind over the past few years and this will inevitably continue to happen as tech adapts.
This is ticking time bomb, so take action while you can. Your starting point is to find out what the provider recommends in their support life cycle.
bright side, it’s a good time to re-evaluate business needs and ensure you’re
positioning yourself for success with the technology you’re utilising.
Con #2—There is no budget for an upgrade
This is possibly the most common reason businesses have for not wanting to upgrade. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And sure, upgrading business technology is another upfront cost that project managers, leadership or accounting might not want to factor in.
If this is the situation you’re in, we recommend making sure your future budgets include life cycles for all tech and their replacements with time frames as part of your long-term business planning.
And if you’re keeping old, ineffective tech to avoid the cost of the new, factor in lost productivity into your risks in every project. That way you’ve got a clearer picture across your business of the balance between investing in new or putting up with old.
Con #3—We all want to maximise ROI
Your return on investment doesn’t look so good once you factor in costs that are potentially unnecessary like tech upgrades. Not to mention that most people get comfortable with the status quo and even resist improvements because it means change and potentially re-learning ways to work.
Once again, it’s a balancing act. If you don’t factor in a sustainable plan for upgrading technology, then you’re back to the lost productivity and possible dissatisfaction. And yes, your employees might be used to the tech and you want them to be happy. But it could be costing you.
And at the end of the day, it’s your dollar.
If you do decide it’s best to continue with your old tech, ensure you have a contingency plan if the old hardware dies.
So there’s your food for thought on upgrading business technology. We’d love to hear what your experiences upgrading business tech have been, so we can all learn from each other.