New hardware, new technology, capital expenditures, and project management – it’s a lot for an SMB to take on in addition to keeping their business thriving. Limping along and getting by is no way to work, especially during a growth phase. If you’re wondering whether it’s time to upgrade your technology and systems, these six signs point to “Yes!”
When we talk about or even romanticize downtime, it is generally related to total hardware failure. Think screens going black, or smoking CPUs. But more often than not, downtime is what drags on while we wait for our systems to start up. Maybe we grab a coffee while we wait for a file to save. Getting up to stretch your legs is important, but slow systems can lead to distractions and wasted time.
2. Routine Firefighting
Every great IT team can rattle off the various ways to fix or implement workarounds to get people back on track. Sometimes it’s looking back to old processes, or it’s a 15-step SOP to make your software behave correctly (again). Firefighting like this shouldn’t be part of our normal day to day – it’s all downtime. And whether we have our staff focus on fixing hardware or bringing machines in for repair, it’s all time we could better spend working, billing, and growing the business. If this happens to you it is definitely time to upgrade your technology.
3. “Ugh, just do it the old way.”
Tried-and-true methods are hard to beat. We trust them and believe they ensure that work is completed effectively across the team as a whole. Though, when those methods are being pulled out with a sigh due to hardware no longer working, we have an issue. (No one wants to share files via SneakerNet anymore.) Next time you see staff regressing to workflows that should have been sunsetted years ago, it may be time to check the age of their computer.
4. The Sands of Time
More or less, the second we purchase a new machine we are already seeing a ticking clock before our software needs outpace what it can do. Be it operating system updates, or our speciality software (looking at you Adobe), there will come a day where we get that pop-up saying that our workstations are no longer supported. For those of us who work with specialty equipment and peripherals, every new adapter that comes out pushes us further and further into obsolescence. Sure, we may not need the latest USB-C compatible external hard drive now, but there will come a day soon.
5. Inability to Integrate New Technology
Behold the worst words to say on a client call: “Unfortunately, our systems can’t support that.” Not only is it embarrassing to admit that you cannot work with a specific software or system, but that limitation can lead to lost opportunities or projects. Doubly embarrassing is when the reason is aging machines or lack of investment in core systems. Don’t lose out on projects or stifle your staff by sticking with infrastructure that is just “good enough.”
6. Release Jealousy
It’s ok, we all fall victim to the siren song that is new product announcements. Couple that with unboxing videos or boasts about how your productivity will skyrocket if only you were to buy this new gadget, and even the most stalwart among us will start thinking about the upgrade.
Each of these factors can be tied to a loss of revenue, giving you great data for making your cost/benefit decision. And remember that it’s never a bad time to consult with an IT service provider to see whether it’s time to bring in an MSP.
Consider our free tech audit – outsourcing IT management could be the best upgrade decision you make to ensure your team has the tools and technology it needs to stay successful.