Everyone knows the right technology can make your business operations quicker and easier. Consistent use of corporate-sanctioned software and technology is foundational to good business. As your organization grows and your processes change, however, often that means your technology should change and grow as well. Our ever-expanding reliance on mobility is a perfect example. Thanks to smartphones, our “office” is held in the palm of our hands. So the device you’re using has to be able to support your daily activity, and that often means virtual connections to a host of platforms that allow you to do a lot more than read your mail. For example, in the world of IoT (Internet of Things), mobile-enabled equipment is mandatory to allow for things like remote monitoring. So making sure your technology is up to date and able to support key organizational functions matters.
How Often Should You Refresh Your Mobile Technology?
How often you refresh your equipment may depend on how often you use it or how durable it is. Some pieces of equipment are less durable than others and may need to be replaced more often. Planning to refresh your equipment every two to four years is good practice. Assuming you haven’t purchased everything at once, you can spread out the costs of updating equipment. For example, if you bought laptops in your first year of business and you bought tablets the next year, you can reevaluate the laptops during your fourth year and tablets during your fifth year of business.
Keep in mind that your equipment may wear out quicker than expected, which may require immediate replacement. However, with regular maintenance and refreshes, you can minimize equipment breakdowns. You can plan for when you want to reevaluate your equipment, and you can also plan for the finance expense, either as a capital expense or an operational expense (Capex vs. Opex). This can help you prepare for the financial investment so you can afford the equipment that’s right for your business.
4 Signs You May Need To Refresh Your Technology
- When your storage is running low: If you are constantly getting notifications that you’re running out of storage or having to rely on external memory devices to keep your computer running at an acceptable speed, it may be time to refresh some of your technology. You may need to upgrade to a larger hard drive, or if your technology is older than two years, you may need to upgrade your machine.
- When software isn’t supported: Older software programs can become obsolete when their manufacturers upgrade their products and stop supporting previous versions of their software. Or, if you have new software that can’t run on an older machine, you may need to upgrade your computer.
- When your needs change: With huge numbers of organizations shifting to hybrid work environments, you may need to invest in more mobile technology to accommodate your employees’ work preferences. As your business changes, your machines and technology can change to accommodate your needs.
- When your employees are losing productivity: Out-of-date technology can cause slow-loading programs or dropped connections. Upgrading can save your employees time and ease the stress that comes with inefficient technology.
Should You Repair or Replace?
It’s costly to replace your equipment completely, so it may be preferable to repair the equipment you have. This is more appropriate for some equipment than others. If you are refreshing software, consider whether the software is still supported and if the software’s capabilities are still appropriate for your business needs. However, if it’s a fairly new piece of equipment, it may be more cost efficient to repair it rather than immediately replace it.
You can save money repairing your equipment a few times, but the longer you use outdated equipment, the more expensive it can become. Investing in new technology can help you improve your production times. Old hardware that doesn’t support updated operating systems can also expose you to security risks. It’s important to evaluate your technological needs regularly so you can find a balance between buying new equipment and repairing usable hardware.
What Is the Return on Your Investment?
Upgrading your equipment can be an expensive undertaking, but it can save you money in the long run. Before you commit to overhauling all your equipment, make an informed decision about what’s best for your company. Figure out what technology is holding you back, and how much of an increase in profits you stand to make by refreshing certain equipment or software. The vManager platform from vCom Solutions has a built-in ROI tool that can help you evaluate your current network and compare your options.
Solving for the ROI can help you figure out what your budget is for a mobile equipment refresh. The return on investment is the net gain divided by the cost. A good rate of return is about 15% in two to five years. The following considerations can also affect your ROI:
- Slower operating times: Older devices and operating systems can take longer to complete simple tasks. Your employees can lose valuable time waiting for emails to send and files to load. You can increase your team’s productivity by refreshing their equipment, either by repairing old equipment or investing in new equipment with increased processing speed.
- Device usage: When considering your ROI, evaluate how your employees use their devices and what processing power would best serve their skills. If your employees have specific needs like design software or mobile tablets, upgrading their equipment can increase compatibility between devices and software.
- Better security: More mobility can increase security concerns. To increase security on your mobile devices, you can refresh your equipment regularly for updated password protection in the software and improved hardware.
- Increased mobility: If an employee primarily works remotely, refreshing their mobile equipment can support their work by providing longer battery life, improved network connectivity, and larger processing power. Your employees can enjoy additional freedom without compromising their productivity.
Refreshing your mobile equipment can improve your productivity and lower your stress level. Calculating your ROI can help you understand best practices for when and how to update your equipment. If you have questions about what updates you need, you can contact us at vCom Solutions. We can help evaluate and coordinate bringing your equipment up to date.