Every business relies on its technology to stay productive. Computers, printers, scanners, servers, and more – all of these devices must work consistently in order for your organization to operate efficiently. So what happens when the devices you depend on start to become unreliable?
No matter what kind of technology you use, it all has a limited lifespan. Here are a few things you can look for to determine if your office is in need of a technology refresh.
Signs You Need to Upgrade Office Equipment
Slow Performance – Many people complain that their office equipment begins to run more slowly over time. For example, computers lose speed for a number of reasons, including a shortage of RAM memory, low hard disk space, software updates that require more resources, etc. Another example is older inkjet printers, which will typically perform more slowly than newer laser models. If your devices are running too slow, it may be time to replace it or upgrade.
Incompatibility – Often, upgrading a portion of your network, such as switching to a new application or server operating system, leads to a partial loss of functionality in your older equipment. This can be caused by a lack of appropriate software or resources, or it might be because older hardware is no longer supported. By replacing or refreshing office equipment every three to five years, you can reduce the risk of incompatibility between devices and applications.
Overworked Equipment – Significant growths in business such as opening new locations, hiring new employees, or expanding your product and service offerings may take a toll on your computers, printers, and servers. If your printer is struggling to handle the increased workload or your server is bottlenecking from an increase in traffic, you should think about upgrading to newer technology that is built to meet such high demands.
Frequent Service Issues – Frequent repairs and service issues can result in decreased productivity and costly downtime. If you have noticed an increase in the number of IT support calls in the last six months or the number of repairs performed on the same office device, it’s time to evaluate whether your old technology is costing you more to maintain than it’s worth.
Making Sense of Upgrading
Once you have determined that your office needs a technology facelift, knowing where to start can be tricky. For instance, if your employees are having trouble accessing network resources from their workstations, what exactly do you need to fix? Do you need to upgrade their computers, the server, or the network infrastructure? Knowing what to fix or replace and what to replace it with requires careful thought.
Here are a few questions for you to consider.
What technology (and applications) are critical for my business? Upgrading mission-critical equipment and applications is a risky process, and it needs to be handled with caution. For example, if you rely on a particular piece of software for tracking customer orders, you want to be sure that it will work flawlessly on new computers or servers to avoid a disruption in business continuity.
What is the most cost-effective method to upgrade? Depending on your environment, replacing all of your office equipment in order to optimize your performance or to solve functional issues may be unnecessary. For example, many PCs will perform much faster simply by increasing the amount of RAM memory. These inexpensive yet effective modifications allow you to preserve familiar applications and operating systems while also boosting performance.
Is keeping old equipment affecting my bottom line? In other words, is your equipment costing you more than its worth? Even if your old copier works on your updated network, you might benefit more from having a newer copier that offers energy-efficient features, faster print speeds, and lower costs-per-print. Also, it’s important to note that servicing older equipment is more costly because parts are typically harder to find, and often times this maintenance is not covered under warranty.
Updating your office technology can be confusing, but we can help. If you think it may be time to replace or upgrade your business’ computers, printers, scanners, or servers, contact us today. We’ll work with you to develop an actionable plan with your specific needs in mind.
At Xcel Office Solutions, we specialize in helping small to medium-sized businesses in Oklahoma stay ahead of the technology curve. If you’d like to learn more about the latest office equipment or to look at our Hardware-as-a-Service program, contact us today at 405-748-4222. You can also follow us on social media at our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ pages.