In the 21st century, business has become increasingly reliant on computers and computer systems. As such, enterprises have to ensure that the hardware they rely on for computer access is in good condition and fit for purpose. The complication lies in knowing when to upgrade computer hardware. After all, the temptation exists to purchase all the latest and greatest that technology has to offer. This isn’t, however, either feasible or necessarily appropriate for any particular business. The problem isn’t a simple one, and is something computer consultants have built entire careers around.
Thankfully, for businesses in the Long Island and Metro NY area, Healthy IT offers a solution. We possess the insider knowledge, technological expertise, and experience required to advise your business if, or when, to upgrade. Here are just some of the factors we consider to help you make the most informed decision.
Cost vs. benefit
As for any decision, the dilemma of whether or not to upgrade comes down to weighing the benefits to be gained from the decision against what it will cost you.
Our experts at Healthy IT will be able to accurately assess the state of your business, and ultimately decide whether the cost of upgrading exceeds the costs of not upgrading. Generally, upgraded hardware results in gains in productivity. The most obvious cases are those in which current hardware fails intermittently or experiences multiple issues (e.g., a computer that crashes regularly). More easily overlooked are those in which current systems’ comparative efficiency is significantly lower than contemporary alternatives’.
The cost side is equally important to consider, however. In the vast majority of cases, the solution isn’t to have the newest and shiniest in equipment. Instead, the choice of what to upgrade to must be based on the business’s actual needs. There’s no use paying for features or capabilities that your company won’t utilize.
That isn’t to say that paying extra for fancier equipment is never a viable option. The trick is in being able to predict where your business is heading, and to gauge its technological needs. Buying equipment more sophisticated than needed at the present to address future needs can keep costs down in the long term.
Something to be wary of, though, are the “hidden costs” of upgrading. The price of new equipment is visible and often something all relevant stakeholders are cognizant of. More often disregarded are the costs of making a transition from old equipment to new. There are tangible costs, like the price of transporting equipment or paying for installation. Also included are intangible costs, like halts or reductions in productivity due to the migration taking up mental space in employees’ minds or learning curves for new computer interfaces.
Also consider alternative solutions to full-on upgrades to one's hardware, what we deem stopgap measures. These are appropriate when issues with current hardware systems are localized to a particular function or component. For example, if slowdowns from lack of memory are the issue for a particular unit, one can mitigate this with extra random access memory (RAM). Not only is additional RAM often low-cost, but installation is easy, even for those less well-versed with technology. Many online resources even enable one to gauge how much additional RAM one needs for a given task.
Other additional components, such as hard drives, graphics cards, and new processors, can also be purchased, though usually have more involved installation processes. In these cases, the best option would be to hire a professional. Be aware, however, of the cumulative costs, both tangible and intangible — a holistic upgrade may be more appropriate after all.
You must ensure your hardware is equipped to support your business's processes. With Healthy IT’s help, we can ensure that you find the most cost-effective way to do so. Contact us today to get started.