For the most part, new technology aims to make our lives easier, especially when it comes to the office. Technology upgrades in the office can improve productivity and efficiency. Some new equipment can make tasks easier that were previously more complicated and took twice as long. Outdated hardware and software can leave your office dragging behind the competition. Once old equipment becomes obsolete, the temptation to provide improved equipment with new features is always there. However, upgrading technology can also be quite expensive, so there's an equal temptation to hold off as long as possible. If you aren't sure whether it's time for a technology upgrade in your office, consider the following factors to help you decide.
The first factor, and the most obvious factor, to consider among many is your budget. If you have to let go of employees to cover the cost of new technology, it might not be the right time to buy. Before you consider upgrading technology, you'll need to calculate the costs of bringing the technology in. Not only do you need to consider the cost of the hardware or software itself, but you'll need to consider the cost of training your employees to use it. You'll also have to factor in non-monetary costs such as downtime, as employees adapt to the new technology.
Another factor you might consider is if there is a demand for new technology in the office. If old hardware and software is not up to snuff, employees will be unhappy if there are forced to work with obsolete technology. Additionally, when an office does not upgrade office technology fairly regularly, then employees may become suspicious of the financial state of the company they are working for. In turn, this can make employees fear for their jobs and decrease employee productivity.
Further, if there's a demand for increased productivity from workers, a technology upgrade will most likely help you achieve that. Technology with new features and services helps employees complete tasks efficiently and more effectively. Technology can also perform faster than ever before, saving time and money. And any faults with old technology such as bugs, errors and other technology failures may be addressed and resolved with the introduction of something new. Ultimately, you want to see some kind of profit after upgrading technology, so unnecessary upgrades may be pointless and only cost you in the end.
Some technology may also provide improve security. Hackers and malicious viruses can negatively impact a company as a whole by disrupting business or stealing company secrets or even finances. New technology can potentially provide greater defense against hackers and malicious software.
Energy efficiency can be a good reason to consider upgrading technology too. Energy costs can be quite expensive depending on the location of your office and you may feel compelled to save on energy costs. If current office hardware is consuming too much electricity, a newer more energy efficient upgrade may save your office money over time.
After considering all factors, in many cases there may even be a specific time to upgrade. As mentioned earlier, there will be a certain amount of downtime when employees adjust to technology changes, as they learn to operate new software or hardware. That's why it might be a good idea to pick a specific time during the year where business will be least affected by this downtime. For example if workload is lighter during the summer, you may find that to be the best time to bring in upgrades and train employees without losing profit or too much productivity.