IT equipment is one of the lifelines of any business. From day-to-day office work and keeping networks running to preserving the safety of sensitive data, the maintenance of your IT equipment should be a priority. Unfortunately, tech hardware is not a one-and-done activity. It requires regular upkeep, but regular upkeep doesn’t mean the same thing for every organization.
Depending on how long you’ve had your current IT equipment in place, it could be time to do either one of two things: repair or replace. Sometimes a complete overhaul of your hardware is unnecessary, and you can trim your update down to the essentials. Other times you will need to replace all of your hardware. Here’s where to start.
Reasons to Update your IT Equipment
Have you ever heard the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Keep this in mind when considering how to approach updating your IT hardware. Although you will not be able to avoid an update forever, you will want to carefully consider when it is necessary to do so and be able to justify it. If you’ve already created or are beginning to create your IT budget, you will have a better idea of your updating bandwidth. However, there are a few reasons why repairing or replacing your IT hardware might need to happen sooner than later:
The Company is Growing or Changing Direction
If you are updating your employee numbers and adding new users to equipment, it may be time to upgrade your equipment as well. If there is growth in one area, you can be sure that other areas will need to reflect the change. It will be difficult to continue to scale your business if you’re hanging onto old tech or software. When you outline new company goals and objectives, you need reliable hardware to see them through to fruition.
There is a Clear Problem with Current Equipment
If your IT hardware is running slow, breaking down or exhibiting clear issues with functionality, this is a fairly obvious sign that it’s time to update. Faulty equipment and unreliable programs can create vulnerabilities for yours and your client’s data. Not only that, but the cost of dealing with repeated downtime can add-up. It can also give your business a negative reputation for reliability. Like the Tin Man in Oz, everything needs to be oiled regularly. Eventually, some parts may need replacing altogether.
Your Industry is Evolving, and your Business Can’t Keep Up
Keeping up with trends in your specific industry isn’t only related to content and best business practices. The way your industry evolves will almost always directly affect how your business needs to evolve. If more organizations and potential clients in your space are upgrading to new technologies for communication or streamlining processes, you will need to consider doing so also. The familiar is comfortable, and digital tech disruption can appear intimidating. But without a close eye on industry changes, your business could be left in the dust of others updating ahead of you.
Repair or Replace: Things to Consider
When Is the Timing Right?
In addition to keeping an eye on the above, ask yourself these questions: Are employees wasting time fixing recurring problems with “tape and glue” type solutions? Are people constantly saving their files for fear of crashing equipment and subsequent data loss? Is your hardware heating up? All of these are signs that an update is likely necessary.
The odds are that processes and needs have changed in your business since you first got your IT equipment. You may be experiencing growth faster than anticipated, and your equipment just isn’t keeping up. Or you’re facing challenges that require doing more with fewer resources, or you want to boost productivity. There is no one-size-fits-all timetable for businesses to replace or repair their equipment. All you can do is be vigilant with regular assessments and keep on the lookout for signs.
Does It Make Financial Sense?
Consider what is best for your budget and your business needs, and decide what makes the most financial sense. Sometimes replacing an entire system is unnecessary, and you can look at simply upgrading software or memory. Sometimes a small fix is enough to help boost productivity and efficiencies. However, it sometimes makes less sense to do a possibly more costly small fix than it would cost to upgrade all of the hardware at the same time. To make the smartest decision in the long run, get an estimate of the total repair costs and compare with the costs of complete replacement.
Remember, even if repairing is the more cost-effective solution, it may not always be the best scalable solution. New models may cost more but also tend to come with newer features that could help you. Also, if you still want both an updated and cost-effective solution, consider leasing equipment instead. Leasing typically costs a little less with predictable monthly expenses and gives you updated technology.
The EMPIST Effect
IT can be a lot to manage, even with an in-house team. Between watching networks, maintaining cloud storage, staying compliant with security policies and upgrading the hardware that houses it all, it can be overwhelming. Several IT firms can help, but EMPIST is one of the few that manage it all. As a managed services provider, we can give you a hand in whatever area of IT services you may need. There is strength in numbers, and we are ready to help you and your business.