When Is It Time to Upgrade IT Equipment?

computer frustrationAre you or your employees spending far too much time waiting on a program to launch on any given PC?  Is your network running sluggishly?  When your IT equipment no longer meets your needs – either you’ve outgrown the equipment or it is too slow or outdated and it may be time to upgrade.

But, your wallet is saying “no”.  Replacing your PCs and other electronic equipment with brand-new models is unaffordable….or is it?  Here are some tips on how to decide if and when it’s time to upgrade and how you can save money doing it.

1. When Is the Right Time to Upgrade?

Hopefully your business is growing by leaps and bounds and your equipment just isn’t keeping up. Or maybe you are facing the challenges of doing more with fewer resources.  It could be time to boost productivity or you have new regulations to comply with regarding additional security and storage. Perhaps it is time to boost customer responsiveness or reduce operating costs.

These are just a few reasons why upgrading existing IT equipment could help solve the problem.  So when is it time to upgrade? Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Are you or your employees spending more time trying to accomplish tasks?  Sluggish network response for routine traffic or long wait times for programs to launch.
  • Is your business using powerful new applications? Are you planning on installing memory intensive programs? For example, digital video editing is extremely demanding on the processor and memory.
  • Have you added or are you planning to add more users to your network? The storage capacity and/or memory of your shared office server or other network-related equipment will take a hit and it might be time to consider upgrading.

2. Is Upgrading the Best Financial Decision?

If your PCs are running slowly, upgrading the memory will help applications run more quickly and efficiently.  Adding a larger and faster hard drive will also help.  Upgrading memory and hard drives is fairly easy to do and is cheaper than buying a new PC.

Are your laptops wireless enabled?  If not, adding newer technology like a Wi-Fi network adapter in the form of a PC Card or USB adapter could help prolong the usefulness of your laptop.

However, if upgrading a computer or other device is more than half the cost of a new model, it might make sense to purchase or lease new equipment because the new machine will likely have features your older model lacks, like a high-capacity DVD burner.

3. Who’s the Best Person to Perform the Upgrades?

You know the old saying, “it’s not brain surgery”….well, upgrading processors in a desktop PC can be the equivalent to a brain transplant for your PC and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone but a skilled technician or super-savvy end user.  Also, some upgrades may void your warranty if they are not done by your computer vendor or reseller.  And be prepared, if something goes wrong, the vendor/reseller may not provide any support.

4. Should You Repair or Replace?

What if a piece of IT equipment breaks? Is it better to repair or replace it?

Get an estimate on the total repair costs from a trusted IT advisor.  Is there a warranty on the repair?  Compare your estimate to the cost of buying or leasing an equivalent, brand new replacement.  Sometimes the cost of buying or leasing new equipment is the same, or even less than repairing.  Replacing can provide new features and abilities your older model didn’t have.

5. Set Your Sights On the Future
If you decide to purchase or lease, invest in equipment that will minimize the need for future upgrades.  Also, buy or lease equipment that’s flexible enough to handle future technologies you may need.  The bottom line is, any IT investment–whether it’s an upgrade, a purchase or a lease–should support your long-term IT strategy. Otherwise, you’re not spending your money wisely.

Keep in mind that leasing new equipment may be an ideal alternative to outright purchase.   Your business can keep ahead of the technology curve and be more competitive, while maintaining a low monthly cost. Leasing requires little if any money up front and provides a predictable monthly expense, which helps small businesses better manage their cash flow. Some aggressive leasing options offer low residuals and allow you to upgrade your equipment once a year.

Leasing your tech equipment can eliminate the uncertainty of installation  and stress of the transition time.  Call one of our experienced Tech Travel Agents at 1-800-736-8772 or send us a message, and either way we will put together the best solution for your unique situation. If you know what you need, our handy Quick Rental Quote page will do the job, too. We’re ready whenever you are!

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