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Is it the Right Time to Upgrade Your IT Equipment? How to Decide

20/11/2018 |

Have you experienced sluggish responses from your IT equipment? Does your hardware appear like it is a century old? Are there new and more efficient IT equipment that by far surpasses your equipment? Has your business overgrown hence the current equipment are unable to meet your needs? Well, considering making your experience with the equipment better and easier. Aging hardware will occasionally impose indirect and direct costs. This for a business can create an income sink affecting the flow of the business cash which can occur unnoticeably. For instance, old computers models experience frequent breakdowns calling for frequent repairs. More to that, who is ready for massive data loss in case their system crashes? A system or hardware upgrade can be the solution to increase speed, effectiveness and extend the life of your equipment.

The need for IT equipment in the business

Currently, many business organizations have adopted the use of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) that enables the business to use integrated applications to automate and manage technology-related functions. ERP software integrates functions like development, manufacturing, sales, product planning, marketing, and other functions in a single database. These enterprise applications are used in running large businesses operations. They usually require highly decorated teams to manage, customize data, analyze it and to conduct the upgrades. Other Enterprise applications are considered small and hence operate lightweight functions. Presently, many business organizations are adopting ERP systems to substitute the previously used Legacy systems. Other reasons such as a replacement for homegrown systems, replacing accounting software and out of date non-ERP software contribute to the implementation of the ERP in various businesses.

A technology that has impacted the growth of ERP software is the cloud ERP. Though most people have been reluctant in putting their data in the cloud, the technology is steadily growing and advancing into the enterprise. ERP development companies provide resource planning software depending on the requirement of an organization.

Why and what should you upgrade?

The nature of the upgrade required should be based on what the upgrade aims to achieve. You can either choose to upgrade your equipment hardware or the software. Upgrading the hardware will not make your slow computer a fast operating computer nor can it make your black and white printer a color printer. Equally, installing new programs into equipment that cannot support the program will not serve the upgrade purpose. It might not run on the computer, for instance. Being guided by the right objective for an upgrade will create meaningful upgrades. Hence, upgrade your equipment by adding a high capacity battery, swapping the hard drives, adding more memory and replacing with more efficient equipment. Besides, who wants to fill their office with prototype equipment while the world is filled with newer, better models!

However, if an upgrade is meant for bells and whistles, you might consider doing the upgrades yourself. This would be a better way to create value for your money. Simpler tasks like upgrading the Random Access Memory can be done without the requirement of a full stack developer. Even neophytes can do such tasks. There are RAM retailers that have online assistance platforms that assist a consumer in deciding the best RAM that their system requires. Addition of other devices such as hard drives, CD drives, and burners might present a more difficult task and would hence require a professional in performing the upgrade.

As necessary as it is, an upgrade might be needed when a business is on a tight budget. The business might not be able to afford to replace the old or even outdated equipment with new models. The question on “how,” “if” and “when” to upgrade your equipment is very fundamental.

When to upgrade

Almost all businesses have lived through a change in the IT equipment since they started their operations. The new equipment is in most cases are packed with greater efficiency. Even better, your business might be growing at a fast rate such that your current equipment might not keep up with the tasks available. In such a situation, going for a piece of equipment that accelerates business processes will be necessary. The business might also pose challenges that would require you to do more while using fewer resources. This presents the ideal situation where you need to boost the employees and your productivity. Naturally, this can be done by automating possible processes and adopting easily accessible data. Advances in technology continue to pose challenges on how to store data safely. This calls for the use of safer and more secure IT equipment to keep your data safer. Regulations that mandate storage and security of data might change especially for cloud service companies requiring you to go for the recommended standards.

An upgrade is necessary in cases where the maintenance and repair costs for specific equipment levels off with or goes beyond the replacement cost. Repairs will only keep the equipment functioning for a little longer, but eventually, the equipment will break down completely. The cost of repairing might be reasonably low but a challenge of acquiring a replacement. Upgrading an IT equipment system would be provoked by operating “legacy” or “end life” OS that might not be supported by the manufacturer any longer. A more serious reason why you should seek an upgrade is when having a system that has an inactive warranty. Such systems have no guarantee that they would work efficiently. Some equipment is way too consuming in every aspect. Upgrading to cost-effective equipment that can save time and automate tasks saving labor requirements can be the only way out!

How do you know that it is now time to upgrade? It is important to ask yourself these few questions:

Has your business adopted or planning to adopt new powerful applications? As a business that largely depends on IT equipment, the current equipment in use might not support more powerful applications. In case you are planning to introduce memory and processor intensive programs, you should consider coupling the installation with a PC upgrade. For instance, installation of programs such as the video editing programs would require large and fast drives since they are memory and processor- intensive.

Is the time being spent by employees on accomplishing the tasks more? Taking more time to accomplish a specific task would be a clear indication that the running applications almost overpower the PC. This would slow down the enterprise operations and possibly bring down your profit margins. This is undesirable for any business which has a set profit target. Slow network connection, the sluggish launch of applications like excel sheets and other applications should also prompt you to decide to upgrade.

Are you planning to add users to your network? More users mean more traffic in the network, and hence better-suited equipment to handle the traffic. If you are planning to add more users, then you should automatically consider upgrading your system.

After being faced by a challenge that makes you opt for an upgrade, you should evaluate whether upgrading is the best decision, especially financially. In most cases, an upgrade will make sense financially, but in other cases, it will not be the best financial decision. For example, a slow PC will slow down the operations lowering the returns. Upgrading to accelerate processes will ensure that all the operations are carried out timely and hence a reasonable return on investment. Older technologies might have limited features. Two options exist for such a scenario, adding new technology or disposing of the outdated equipment. However, adding a new technology would be cheaper than purchasing new equipment. If the cost of upgrading is more than a half the price of a new model, the purchase of the new model would make more financial sense. Sometimes leasing option is available rather than repairing or upgrading. The most financially demanding option should be avoided if the other option gives similar or better results.

Who should perform the upgrade?

Think of conducting an upgrade as conducting a transplant. Some transplants/ upgrades are more risky and tricky than other and will require specialized personnel. Various development agencies with highly qualified full stack developers have been established to offer IT related business solutions. They specialize in software development and installation of business software that is more suited to operations. Such team comprises of skilled personnel, who will provide warranty thus if a problem arises following the upgrade, they may provide solutions. They may also advise on whether to replace or repair equipment in case it breaks down by providing estimates of both repair and replacement. This avoids unnecessary expenses that could otherwise be incurred.

Due to the high demand for IT equipment, various development agencies have been set up in the major cities of the world. These cities harbor big corporations such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, which have invested highly in the tech system. For instance, the Montreal development firm provides the needed culture and environment for innovation. This has been a major emerging hub that has a high population of infrastructure and innovative minds for software development. Businesses seeking better and more efficient software can consider fishing out the best app development firm in Montreal such as the App studio, Plank, Underlabs, Samsao, Spiria and development agencies.

Think of the set future strategy

The decision on whether to upgrade, lease or purchase the future strategy should influence new equipment. Leasing a new IT equipment should offer a long lasting business solution rather than a short-lived solution such as the one offered by repairing or upgrading. For instance, it would be more convenient to buy a new PC that has larger memory rather than repairing one or buying one that will require a future upgrade. Go for equipment that will handle any technology that can be required in the future. For example, choose network equipment that would be able to support a VoIP system which may necessarily be added later. Have a bigger picture of what your enterprise aims at achieving in the long run. This will ensure that you do not invest your money in IT equipment that would become obsolete or require an upgrade within a short period.

Hidden upgrading costs

An upgrade will not only cost you for the new system being adopted, but other hidden costs occur as a result of upgrading. Look at this, you replace your computer processor and the hard drives, what happens to the data you had? In a more explicit example, you replace your computer with a newer model, what about the information you had on your old computer. Your data will need to be transferred from the previous computer to the new one. This is expenditure regarding time since the time spent transferring your information could be used in completing another task. If conducting an upgrade for the whole firm, this would translate to an operation standstill during the upgrade.

Transferring the information will also require certified personnel since data might be lost during the transfer. This is a hidden cost and in the worst case scenario information can be lost, what a loss! The energy spent in upgrading? The research for a worthwhile upgrade, the best-suited development agency, and the whole process will surely take a substantial amount of your energy. An upgrade will not only cost you money; consider the other costs too. However, no valuable investment is made without a cost. Go for it

Is it the right time then?

After considering all the scenarios presented above, think whether it is necessary to conduct the upgrade. Is it an upgrade, a repair or a replacement that is required in your business? Consider your business position at the time, is it the ideal time for the upgrade or would it present business stress at the time. The plans laid sown for the business will also help you in deciding the way forward. Critical evaluation will ensure making of the right decision, go for whatever suits your requirement.

For more information, contact us today!

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