3 Reasons Why Hardware Updates Support Our Shared Goal of Predictable Technology
Do you know if you and your IT support provider share the same goals?
Here’s the test.
If they make more money when your technology DOESN’T work, then you don’t share the same goals. If you want technology to work for your business, then predictable technology should be at the top of the list of your shared goals .
Predictable technology means you can count on IT to work. It’s foundational to a proactive approach to IT because if your technology isn’t predictable, you can’t use IT to improve your business and meet other goals -- like improving customer service, decreasing costs, and increasing revenue.
Keeping hardware up to date is a key component to proactive IT management. Most people just think about their PCs and laptops, but it also includes all your other hardware (such as firewalls) that might not be so noticeable.
It might seem counter intuitive to invest in new hardware when the equipment you’re using isn’t causing too many problems today, but here are three big reasons why you shouldn’t delay updating hardware on a regular schedule.
1. Less Disruptive to Operations
It’s always less disruptive to your operations if you replace hardware before the equipment gets old and the warranty expires. Older equipment usually develops more frequent issues. In the case of firewalls, that means that you’ll have internet outages which can affect your whole business.
With old technology, you never know when it's going to fail. It could be in the middle of inventory or a payroll cycle. Could be in your busy season. Could be right before a presentation for a major customer.
When you plan for hardware updates, you can schedule them for when it will be the least disruptive to your people and your business.
If you have aging equipment, it’s also likely that you’ll encounter some compatibility issues when you bring in something new. For example, say you needed a new barcode scanner and printer. That old PC that you thought was good enough for shipping is now a bottleneck to getting your products out the door because it won’t operate the software that goes with the new scanning equipment.
Security is also a worry when you’re working with old hardware. Because security is an increasing concern for everyone, hardware manufacturers are building more security features into their new models.
2. More Cost Effective
Not only is it less disruptive, it’s also less expensive to replace hardware before it breaks. When you wait until it breaks, you’re not only looking at the cost of the equipment -- you also have the cost of downtime that was a result of the breakdown.
In the case of a cyber attack, the impact will be very expensive. There’s downtime, remediation to stop and clean up the hack. There could be legal fees and penalties if you need to follow regulatory compliance. A damaged reputation could make it hard to keep customers and employees, let alone attract new ones.
Let’s say you don’t have a complete breakdown or a cyber attack, there’s still a cost to doing nothing. Old equipment takes time to boot up, and can experience crashes and network connectivity problems, not to mention increased maintenance costs.
As mentioned before, as technology hardware has advanced, designers have included more functionality to meet needs for security and productivity so you can expect to get more value for your investment.
In the case of a firewall, for example, you can get advanced security features in one tool that you could only otherwise get with multiple tools. This means you may be able to eliminate costs elsewhere.
3. Avoid Falling Behind
If you don’t schedule the replacement of your hardware before it’s out of date, you miss out on the opportunity to use technology as a competitive advantage. Competitiveness looks different for different companies and industries but think of it this way – if you want to be better, faster, and innovative, a part of your strategy is going to include how you use technology.
Remember that technology alone isn’t a competitive advantage. It’s how you USE technology that’s important.
What Do You Want from IT?
Unless you enjoy anxiety and sleepless nights, it’s safe to say that you want IT to work. That’s only going to happen if your IT support provider has a proactive approach to IT management that prevents most problems before they happen, and helps you find ways to use technology to meet your business goals.
At Accent, our goal for our clients (and for ourselves) is to get the maximum useful life out of equipment before it becomes a risky or unpredictable situation.
We provide fast, friendly, frustration-free IT that helps move business forward. If you’re not getting that kind of IT support from your managed IT services provider, it might be time to explore your options.
Wondering what's really going on with your IT? Contact us for a FREE IT assessment.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.