Trying to hang on to old hardware may save you money now, but it exposes you to many other risks and potential expenses. Do you know when it’s time to upgrade your IT?
Frugality is a valuable priority in the business world.
Avoiding overspending and being resourceful with your assets can help boost your profits and keep your business within its budget. However, there’s a difference between being frugal and cheap—do you know who you are?
There’s an easy way to tell. Ask yourself, “when was the last time I updated my technology?”
At a certain point, old technology will hit a critical point of risk and functionality: end of life.
End of life means no more bug fixes or security updates for the hardware or software—it’s the end of support delivered by the manufacturer.
Over time, there will be a loss of usability and increased vulnerability. While it may work fine right now, it won’t be long before it becomes a problem.
That said, It's not uncommon to procrastinate on technology upgrades. The process can be expensive and complicated, but the fact is that there comes a point in the technology life cycle when failing to upgrade can present several serious concerns.
As important as cost control is, it is equally important for owners and managers to ensure they’re maintaining their competitive edge, using secure technology, and working as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Without support, security updates, and bug patches, users open themselves up to several risks:
The fact is that many of us will continue to use outdated technology long after it should have been replaced. Whether it's that old smartphone that won't run newer operating systems or the computers you use at work, sticking with out-of-date technology will save you a bit of money because you don’t have to replace it.
But did you know how it will cost you in other ways?
If your old tech is working so poorly that it stops you and your staff from working, it’s time to replace it. The downtime caused by old hardware isn’t worth the money you save by hanging on to it.
Whether you agree or not, it's a fact—Ponemon Institute estimates that every hour of downtime can cost well over $300,000.
The main cost of downtime is not the fix itself. It’s the halt in your business’ productivity. If an IT-related or natural disaster occurs and takes critical systems offline, employees will be unable to complete their tasks, yet your normal business expenses will carry on.
The downtime economy is unforgiving—it grinds your business to a halt, raises expenses, and keeps you from getting anything done. Additional costs include…
Expense vs. Revenue
During downtime, you incur all the expenses of running a business without the revenue you usually generate.
Loss of Focus
Even if downtime does not grind everything to a halt, some of your staff will have to divert themselves from their normal work to mitigate the problem—again reducing productivity.
Affected Service Delivery
Furthermore, while your systems are down, you can’t deliver services or sell products to current and potential new clients.
Cost Of Repair
However you approach fixing the problem, it’ll cost time and money.
Your Technology Is Slowing You Down
As explored above, speed is the most direct result of age in the technology life cycle.
The older your hardware or software is, the slower it will run. Every minute you and your staff spend waiting on technology to respond is time wasted in the working day.
Your Technology Is Putting You At Risk
Did you know that the most common way cybercriminals get into a network is through loopholes in popular software, applications, and programs? Despite how advanced modern software is, it is still designed by humans, and the fact is that humans make mistakes.
Due to this, much of the software you rely on to get work done daily could have flaws—or "exploits"—that leave you vulnerable to security breaches.
Many of the most common malware and viruses used by cybercriminals today are based on exploiting those programming flaws; to address this, developers regularly release software patches and updates to fix and protect the users.
This is why you must keep your applications and systems up to date. However, once technology hits the end of life, it no longer receives these critical updates, which makes it perpetually vulnerable.
Your Technology Is Holding You Back
You may notice that your competitors have far surpassed your capabilities and can provide clients with features and products that you cannot offer.
If you find it hard to keep up with your competitors, it might be time to consider how new technology can enhance your work.
Repairs Don’t Last Very Long
The older your hardware gets, the more often you’ll need to call someone to fix it.
The more you need someone to fix it, the less effective those fixes become. That means paying more and more for support to come in and get it running again, the returns on which will quickly diminish.
Does Your Hardware Function Properly?
You need to know whether your hardware is holding you back, making you wait, and slowing your firm down.
Is The Software Up To Date?
Now that you’ve determined how functional the hardware is, the next step is the software. Even if this technology hasn’t been turned on in a week, there will likely be some updates that have to take place.
Updates are important because they correct existing errors and mistakes in software and patch potential flaws that could leave it vulnerable to security threats.
One by one, open up each program you plan to use regularly. If updates need to be installed, a pop-up window will likely open on start-up. However, if the previous owner turned off that automatic function, you’ll need to manually check for updates, which can be done in the program preferences.
What Is The Status Of Licenses And Warranties?
After double-checking that everything is up to date, the next step will be to confirm the status of any existing licenses and warranties.
Depending on the firm type, specific software may be needed for daily operations. The bottom line is that if you need it to get work done, you should know whether you can use it.
Is It Time To Upgrade?
There are various reasons you may decide to hold off on making a major upgrade to your technology, such as the cost and hassle.
However, avoiding the issue for too long will do more harm than good, and will affect your productivity, security, and ability to get work done.
Make sure your IT company is helping you manage hardware lifecycles—if they can’t, then consider working with N-Tech Consulting.
Our team can help you evaluate your IT environment to ensure everything is up to date and ready to meet your team’s expectations.
Book a meeting with our team to get started.