computerupgradeUsing outdated computer equipment can mean security risks and loss of business, not to mention a whole lot of frustration. Here are four signs that it’s time for your business to upgrade.

1. Your systems and software can’t work together.

Crystal Kendrick, president of The Voice of Your Customer, a Cincinnati-based marketing firm, spent thousands of dollars last year with an IT firm that worked for days trying to make her office and mobile systems sync. In the end, the firm had to give up, telling Kendrick her systems were too old and no longer supported by manufacturers. Now, when facing an IT issue, her first question is whether her systems are too outdated to coordinate with other software and whether replacement is the most efficient solution.

2. Your computer’s speed impedes productivity.

“The right computer is the one that gets the work done in the most efficient, stress-free way possible,” says Kevin Tumlinson, a Houston-based author and consultant with tech industry experience. “Authority businesses need to be able to pivot in an instant, so every second you waste waiting for Microsoft Word to open or trying to get onto a crucial website with an outdated browser can cost you an opportunity. It’s time to upgrade when the computer is a roadblock to doing the work.”

The problem many small business owners have is the perception that computers are solely equipment and should only be replaced when they stop working, says John Dini, an NFIB member and small business consultant in San Antonio. But computers are actually the principal source of productivity for most employees, so the cost/benefit analysis on replacement should focus on lost work time.

3. You’re more than two versions behind on software.

“The general rule of thumb is to stay within two versions of the latest release,” says Joe Rodichok, IT manager for eZanga.com, an online advertising firm. “For example, the current version of Windows is 8.1. If you’re using Windows Vista, your software is out-of-date. The reason it’s so important to stay up-to-date is because software stops being supported at a certain point. As exploits are found, there are no longer patches available, exposing you to a whole bunch of dangers.”

This is exactly what’s happened with Windows XP. In April 2014, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP with security patches, and shortly after, hackers started to target the operating system, says Darren Boozer, CEO and president of NCC Data, an IT consulting company in Addison, Texas.

4. You’re losing your competitive edge.

“To stay ahead of the pack, even at your size, you must remain agile and different from the competition—and that means maintaining knowledge about the latest trends in consumer behavior for your industry,” says Cody McLain, founder of WireFuseMedia, a digital creative agency in Austin, Texas. “What do consumers want now, and are you able to offer it?”

Using old technology to try to create new things will mean hitting a brick wall in progress at some point, McLain says. It can also mean a loss in ability to relate to customers. For example, if you’re still using a cellphone from 2003 but have created a cutting-edge app for customers to download, you can’t use your own technology, let alone improve it.

If you have questions about upgrading your computers, please contact us today.

Truesdell, K. (2015). 4 Signs That It’s Time To Upgrade Your Computers. Retrieved from http://www.nfib.com/article/4-signs-its-time-to-upgrade-your-computers-bizhelp-69476/

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