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Summit Insights
May, 21

Four Signs It's Time to Upgrade Your Computer System


There are always signs that will tell you when you need to upgrade or replace a piece of equipment that you use in your business. In the case of a machine, key indicators include increased unplanned maintenance time, higher costs for replacement parts, or more time spent finding replacement parts due to the machine’s age. 

Reasons to Consider Upgrading

A computer system offers similar indicators when it needs an update or replacement, and those indicators can appear in any component of the system. A computer system includes not only individual computers; it comprises your network and associated equipment, printers, data storage devices, software, computer-controlled equipment, smartphones, and other communication or sales support devices. 

There are typically four indicators that it is time to upgrade your computer system. If you see any or all of these indicators, it is time to develop a cost-effective road map to purchasing a system that will meet your company’s current and future needs. Your CFO can help you to do a cost-benefit analysis and create your road map. 

Reason 1: New Components Are Not Compatible with the Existing System

Example: Your old dot matrix printer jams, and you find that repairs will cost more than a new printer. You purchase the new printer, bring it back to the office, and find that it cannot be connected to your PC since it requires a USB cable and all you have is a parallel port. 

New computer system capabilities and features are constantly being developed and made available to customers for all types and brands of computers. While the latest version of a system component may be attractive, if it is not compatible with the rest of your system, you will need to consider what additional components it requires. 

Technology enhancements of most kinds are designed to improve efficiency, and efficiency can be a critical competitive advantage for your business. 

Reason 2: Your System is Running Slowly

If you have time to get a fresh cup of coffee every time you ask your PC to perform a task–update a document, perform a complex calculation in a spreadsheet, run a simple report– your system resources are probably inadequate. New applications with new functions and capabilities use a larger share of your system resources which causes slowdowns in your overall system. 

Troubleshooting your system response time can be a laborious process, so enlisting the assistance of an expert to diagnose the problem will be an excellent investment. Once they identify the issues, you can develop a plan to improve your system performance that will balance your business issues with available technology so that your end result meets your short- and long-term company needs. 

Reason 3: Security

Security and the steps to maintain it remain a hot topic. Safeguarding your computer system should always be a high priority, and it is an increasingly critical part of protecting the interests of your company. The internet is being used more and more to manage your business–customer management, payroll, purchasing, tax planning, and so much more–and the risk of business interruptions from internet attacks is increasing as well. 

Installing new software and hardware to manage your security might lead to problems or compatibility issues with other components. When this happens, you must choose whether to upgrade your system to accommodate the new security tools or do nothing and leave yourself exposed to attacks that could harm your business. Among all others, this may be the most important reason to invest in a system upgrade. 

Reason 4: Business Growth

If your business has grown through increased sales, acquisitions, new employees, or if you have expanded or purchased new facilities, then you may feel the need for a computer system upgrade due 

to productivity issues. System slowdowns or difficulty connecting to the network or the internet might mean that the network needs to be upgraded to handle the extra demand from additional employees. 

Next Steps

If your business is faced with any of the indicators that we have discussed, then it is time to upgrade your computer system. Begin the process with a list of your requirements for information management and other applications and consult with an expert to validate your requirements as well as to understand which technology and vendor makes sense for your particular business. Then you and your CFO should develop a plan for implementing the upgrade in the most cost-effective way.