New Year’s resolutions are about making positive changes. And as the year closes, small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners are also evaluating various aspects of their company so they can decide on adjustments that will help ensure success in the next annual cycle. One particular area SMB leaders should consider looking into is technology.
While it might be tempting to ignore upgrades and just hope that everything will continue working as it does now, doing so can cause more harm than good in the long run. Here are some questions to consider when deciding whether or not to upgrade your business technology tools:
1. How much are you willing to spend on IT upgrades?
One of the most important factors to take into account when making any business decision is budget. Upgrading the company’s technology can be costly, so it’s important to consider whether the cost of the upgrades fit your current budget and future spending goals before making any purchase decisions. You also don’t have to upgrade all your software and hardware at once, so you should make IT upgrade priorities based on the importance of the component being upgraded as well as your purchasing power.
2. What do you need the upgrades for?
The landscapes of both business and technology are ever-evolving, so you should regularly check whether your IT infrastructure still meets your company’s needs. For instance, if you find that your SMB now has very little need for the software you bought licenses for several years ago, then think twice about upgrading it.
Before deciding on which IT components should get upgraded, look into your company goals to gauge which technology updates would best help meet key performance indicators and drive success. Additionally, you need to make sure that the technology you’re considering is actually going to be of use, so that it doesn’t become a white elephant.
3. How stable is the new technology?
New technology can mean new bugs and glitches, so your tech team must be prepared to tackle these challenges should they arise. What’s more, your IT staff should ensure that the introduction of upgrades will not affect operations. Companies need consistency in order to provide quality service to customers, so even seemingly minor issues can cause downtime and have unexpected consequences if not addressed properly.
4. How compatible are your current systems with the tech upgrades?
It’s critical for any business seeking an upgrade to take compatibility into account — both with their current systems and with other businesses they may work with. Upgrading to new software that’s incompatible with older versions will likely be a costly and time-consuming mistake. No matter how great new technology can be, you may not be able to make the most of it if it’s not the right fit to your existing infrastructure.
5. How will the next upgrade prepare your SMB for future upgrades?
While it’s important to upgrade IT with short-term goals in mind, it’s also essential to not let your focus on current needs overshadow long-term benefits. In order to maximize the value of technology upgrades, companies need to have a plan for future updates. Too often, businesses upgrade their technology and then fail to update it again for years, resulting in wasted time and money. By creating a budget and schedule for regular updates, companies can ensure that their investment in new technologies pays off in the long run.
Technology upgrades are inevitable for any business looking to stay ahead of the curve. Companies that don’t take advantage of upgrades may find themselves lagging behind their competitors, which can cause long-term issues with market share and customer satisfaction. If you need any help with upgrading your tech, our IT experts are here to offer sound advice and expert services. Call us at 855-511-HERO now.