Workplace efficiency thrives with up to date hardware. So why do so many companies choose to operate with aging equipment?
We believe the main sticking point for most SMBs is cost. After all, new desktops, modems, digital signage, and commercial printers aren’t cheap. And even if upgraded products will improve productivity in the office, is the up-front investment worth a benefit that may not become necessary until later down the road?
In most cases, the answer is yes. It certainly makes more financial sense to upgrade than continue using outdated office equipment—but that’s not the only reason you should consider ditching your outdated hardware.
Security is always a concern with outdated equipment. Obsolete operating systems aren’t always capable of running the latest software with the latest security. Older programs get neglected, forgotten, and become riddled with security loopholes for malicious users to exploit. Of course, upgrading to the latest hardware won’t protect the SMB from every threat, but business owners can’t claim to have an effective corporate security strategy while running their software on old-fashioned equipment.
Naturally, older systems tend to be less efficient than their modern analogues. Newer systems often have advanced workflow features or specific customizations that let SMBs automate their core business processes. Some examples are OCR technology for data entry, hosted VoIP for communication, or even automated cloud backup solutions.
Don’t underestimate the impact these advancements have on performance. Research on workplace productivity in the UK found that the average employee wastes up to 40 minutes each day on slow, outdated technology.
Don’t Be Limited By Your Hardware
But even with these drawbacks in mind, the “upgrading hardware” discussion always comes back to the budget. With so many SMBs loathe to part with the initial investment, office productivity declines as workers spend more time working with slow equipment than actually working. The good news is that there are several options available to struggling SMBs who want to upgrade their devices without a hefty price tag:
- Hardware as a Service (HaaS): HaaS lets businesses lease up-to-date office equipment for a fraction of the price of the initial investment. This is the primary way SMBs can make cutting-edge hardware affordable on their terms.
- Corporate consulting: Which hardware advancements do you actually need? Leveraging the insights of a third-party consultancy firm can show you which upgrades are crucial and how to get more bang for your buck from your investment.
- Free online options: For a truly bootstrap strategy, look online for free apps and options that can improve communication. Google’s “G Suite” offers plenty of data storage and workplace planning tools, and even apps like Evernote or Slack can change the way your business operates.
SMBs can’t afford to lag behind with aging office equipment. If executives want to keep their employees productive and waste less time on day-to-day tasks, the state of the company’s hardware should be the first place they look.