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Companies want to keep profits high and costs low. Standard business knowledge.


Every business owner wants to do this, and it’s not a bad thing. That’s how you make a profit in business.


At the end of the month, each owner will look at their costs and think about what costs they can cut down to maximise profit. More often than not, one of the biggest culprits for high costs will be technology.


It costs a lot to purchase, and sometimes the costs don’t stop there. You might see money on upgrades, maintenance, even repairs that may need someone else looking in to them.


Thankfully, technology costs can easily be managed if you keep the same technology for a long time, which most companies tend to do. That’s why you don’t see many small businesses trying to use the latest and greatest in technology.


For the most part, you won’t see a need either. You’re trying to reduce costs, all you need is something for you to do your job, and there’s no reason to get the newest technologies. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.


It’s the same when companies try to use free software downloaded from the Internet instead of using a paid feature. Why pay for something that we can use for free?


You might be thinking that as an IT services company, we obviously want our customers to upgrade because it means more money for us.


While it would lead to more money for us, companies should still consider upgrading their technology because there are many hidden costs that technology doesn’t always point out.


These hidden costs can sometimes cost you even more in the long term, and it might be too late to do something about those costs when you suddenly encounter them.


The best way to prevent these costs is to know what they are, and how they might impact your business.


A Security Problem

When people talk about IT security, it can be very hard to relate to.


Most experts will talk about the dangers of not focusing on your security, the risks you take by leaving yourself open to scandals, the fears your customers you have when they find out you aren’t protecting their information.


Security threats aren’t experienced by many individuals. For those who have had virus attacks or information stolen, they are adamant that IT security is necessary.


But for those of us who haven’t, we don’t see a problem. You’ve never had a virus attack, you’ve never had hackers hold you for ransom, and you think the “pirate stories” you hear about are just people who are being absolutely ridiculous online.


To be perfectly honest, you can’t be blamed for thinking that way.


Despite the news scares we see online like Ashley Madison or Sony, the average Internet user will only encounter a few minor problems, such as a virus or malware on their personal computer.


You almost never hear of small businesses who are the target of security breaches. After a while, you won’t feel that anyone wants to target you. So when companies come to talk to you about upgrading your security and paying for security programs, you are likely to say no.


But compare IT security with losing your wallet or purse.


Not many people are actively trying to take your wallet/purse. But on the off chance you lose it or it gets stolen, your world collapses.


You panic, you worry, you desperately try to find a solution, you hope the pain quickly goes away, and you breathe a huge sigh of relief the moment you find it again.


Or you never find it again and are absolutely consumed with regret that you didn’t take better care of it.


That’s the same feeling you will feel when you learn that your customer’s information was just compromised because a hacker managed to get past your security and ruin your system.


Technology threats evolve very quickly, and sometimes old software and systems aren’t built to adapt to the new threats. This leaves older computers open to vulnerabilities that can easily be exploited for hackers to ruin your technology.


As technology becomes more and more advanced, the number of ways to break into a system will only increase. With more people studying technology, there will be more people capable of carrying out more attacks.


In order to adapt to the threats and fight back, you’ll have to upgrade your technology to handle the new software and upgrades that protect your company’s information.


I’ll let you decide if security is important to you, but as with losing your wallet, is that really something you want to happen to you before you start caring?


Increasing Software Requirements

To make a computer successful for any purpose, you need two things: hardware and software.


Software nowadays has a lot of updates, which fixes bugs, provides new functions and occasionally makes the programs run faster.


As technology becomes more advanced, software tries to take advantage of this by running on the resources of newer technology.


Of course, as most software users can and will attest, software is often used on older machines, so software companies will release updates that allow software to run even better on old technology.


However, there will reach a point where software requirements will go past what older computers can handle. Software depends on the hardware in order to carry out tasks. This can be as simple as word processing to complex tasks such as 3D rendering.


Software isn’t going to suddenly devolve, so unless you are keeping older versions of software, you’re going to have to consider upgrading.


The good news to this is that if your technology isn’t any older than 4 years of age, there’s a very good chance that you’re not in trouble. You’re still able to run updates.


But as your computer uses more resources to run the same program, it might be time to replace it.


You might claim that you can counter this by keeping older versions of software.


While that is true, you also make yourself vulnerable to the flaws that weren’t fixed in newer versions. It’s a security risk that hackers enjoy targeting, as they don’t have to come up with complicated ways to get into newer systems. They’ll use what worked before.


I’m also writing this under the assumption you’re using only one software program on your computer. This is not likely to be true, as you’re running many instances of software at a time, which can affect technology performance.


Programs are moving along with the times, and you might want to as well, before the holes of the past haunt you in unexpected ways.


Hardware Getting Weaker

As mentioned previously, hardware and software work to make technology successful.


Hardware is the mind and body of technology. Without hardware, your technology won’t work well.


When you first buy technology like a computer, it works great, almost perfectly. It’s one of the newer models on the market and has the performance to match everything that you need it to do.


As time goes on, the computer might get slower or seem like it’s performing worse than before. That’s because software requirements can force hardware to run more advanced programs on the same limits it had before.


This was fine in the beginning, when your newer model was built to work with software and the first line of updates. But years later, it’s not as easy. Software will push your technology harder and require more resources in order to run properly.


Hardware can also deteriorate if it isn’t maintained properly, and dust can accumulate in areas and amounts you weren’t expecting. This affects the performance as the hardware has to deal with temperature regulation and airflow, which can be severely hampered by unattended hardware.


Replacing hardware can also be costly if you are no longer covered by warranty. It would result in you paying even more to repair old technology, when it might be cheaper for you to buy a new piece of technology.


Hardware is fantastic, and if you treat it well, it can last for years. But it will need to be replaced to take advantage of newer software and technologies, or else you will incur greater costs in the future.


Employee Productivity Costs

When someone mentions technology costs, you usually associate those costs with hardware and software.


What you don’t think about is how technology can cost you in other areas, such as employee productivity.


Initially, when employees work with newer technology, their efficiency will be good, sometimes even better than that if technology works well.


But as technology has to compensate with aging hardware and software with increasingly demanding requirements, employees might experience technology not working as smoothly as it did in the beginning.


Some companies still have their employees work with technology that is very old, and won’t upgrade because they feel it is an unnecessary cost. Old technology can perform slowly and not carry out functions as effectively.


This leads to employees struggling to carry out their tasks, as they now have to deal with slower speeds, outdated technology and hardware that cannot cope with the demands that is required of the job.


If employees can’t do their job well, their satisfaction drops, and employees are less likely to feel motivated to improve, as they know they’re not in an environment where they can utilize their full potential.


Lack of motivation can be a huge cost to companies that doesn’t always present itself on a financial statement.


Think of it this way; it would be hard for a doctor to provide patient diagnoses if he couldn’t trust his equipment to work when he needed it to.


Your employees will experience a similar problem if technology is too old and unreliable to carry out their job.


Technology Upgrades Can Help Your Costs

It’s entirely understandable that you don’t want to upgrade your technology immediately.


At the same time, it’s not just a financial cost you could incur if you put off upgrading for too long.


Talk to your team and find out what struggles they are dealing with. It could show you that your company is due for a technology overhaul.


It could even be cheaper for your company in the long run.


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