Every business has different priorities and require different technologies for voice communications, Internet, network connectivity, computers and other hardware. But one thing every business leader has in common is that we've all made tech purchases and upgrade decisions.
Sometimes the decisions are easy and inexpensive. Maybe you need to replace an old printer that’s not working well or a new monitor or some cables. But other decisions are huge. Is it time to upgrade your computers or your network infrastructure? Is it time to move to the cloud and virtualize more?
All these decisions are driven by a wide range of factors. For the more expensive decisions it typically makes sense to build a complete analysis of the factors involved in driving such a decision. Most decisions however can be broken down into six main categories: Emotion, productivity, evolution, money, competitiveness, health and safety. Here are 7 reasons that will help you make the decision to upgrade.
Making the argument for spending approval
When you determine its time to upgrade something and your asked why it needs to be done you can site individual reasons and you can tell your boss your old one sucks but that may not get you too far. Think about pitching it this way:
- It will make you more productive
- It will substantially reduce errors or problems
- Old hardware is no longer supported by updates
- You have a hand me down plan for old hardware
- It will give you a competitive advantage you don't otherwise have
Can you see how much more compelling that is when you're trying to convince management to give you money for an upgrade? The better you can state your case and quantify the needed expense the more likely management is to give you the funds.
7 reasons to upgrade
- It will remove an annoyance - How many of us find some factor of the technology we use every day annoying? Let's say your office internet is slow and although you manage to get the work done there are many days where its down right in the middle of project or sending a file takes way longer than it should etc. Bad technology can be annoying and cause stress which negatively affects productivity. The key argument here is "take out the friction" or remove the annoyance. Management will pay a little more to have annoying problems go away. To check to see if fiber ethernet upgrades are available in your area
- It will save time - My primary file storage and one of my desktops are all in the cloud. I use Microsoft OneDrive for all my files for one simple reason…its saves time and is more convenient when I travel. Heck it's even more convenient when I replace my PC because I don't have to worry about losing my files. I can share folders to other people who may need to work on a project with me, I can access my business files from anywhere on any device including my cell phone. If a technology will save the company time and thereby improve productivity it is worth the investment.
- Old hardware is no longer supported - We have all worked in one of those companies that has used the same phone system for 15 years. It hasn’t had an upgrade in a 5 years and is no longer supported. Sure it makes and receives calls but that’s about it. Today there are technologies built into VoIP phone systems that not only improve productivity, they integrate with software CRM, ERP and other tools businesses use every day and the best part is updates are included and happen automatically with no effort from IT staff. There is no equipment in the closet taking up space that has to be removed or upgraded, everything lives in the cloud except the handset. Do your research there are a ton of ways to improve your business by upgrading to outdated hardware and technology for cloud based communications. Same goes for software you use in the business. Most software is moving to the cloud for this very reason including Quickbooks, and others. To learn more about moving your phone system to the cloud
- Substantial reduction in operating cost - There was a time when data centers had one server running on one physical box. The power, cooling, and footprint impact was enormous. So when virtualization/cloud became practical many IT operations bought new boxes that could do the work of seven or eight of the older ones. Today cloud allows your data to be backup and spread across hundreds of servers all over the world insuring continuity and redundancy at a fraction of the cost of traditional servers. Hosted IP phones can be purchased with zero out of pocket cost compared with the traditional PBX which meant thousands of dollars in cost and often times VoIP can be purchased at a wash compared to leasing circuits from the phone company. There are technologies that can substantially reduce operating costs for businesses.
- It will give you a competitive advantage you wouldn’t otherwise have - Can the technology you purchase be leveraged to help you do something others can't? This is often why companies invest in software development, supply chains and machinery. If you can beat the competition in terms of what you produce, the quality it is produced or even in terms of keeping costs below what others can produce you gain a competitive advantage.
- It reduces or eliminates a fatal flaw - If you competition is beating you on some level then investing in technology or upgrading systems to bring you up to par or ahead is often well worth the cost. It's almost mission critical. For example let's say you are an electrical wholesaler and contractors purchase from your warehouses daily. If you are working on an old school system for tracking inventory and have no quick way of determining if your other warehouse has the product your customers are looking for then they will go elsewhere to find it. However if you warehouses are all connected via wide area network and sharing the same inventory system in the cloud so you always know what product the company has and where to find it you will delight your customers and they will become loyal.
- It gives your business a continuation strategy - If your business becomes effected by a natural disaster such as Hurricane Michael, an earthquake, flooding, simple power outages or construction damage due to man-made disaster it is possible that the business would have to survive on offsite data back-ups for days or months at a time. Business critical digital assets need to be available online to ensure survivability. Redundant systems such as Internet need to be in place to prevent lengthy outages and to allow for survivability. Technologies such as 4G network backups are inexpensive and provide reliable backup for network connectivity.
So there you go. The next time you need to get approval for a purchase, try making the case using these reasons. Any business leader can see the wisdom in these cost justifications but you must do the math and whatever research you can to ensure your reasons align with these business objectives.