Computers and software are a major investment, so it is easy for businesses to fall into the trap of trying to squeeze as much life out of their systems as possible before spending money on upgrades. Below are some signs that you’ve stopped saving money and are instead costing your business money – in time, lost data, efficiency, and security.
1. You’ve Lost Work to a Computer or Software Crash at Least Twice in the Past Month
Crashes happen. That’s the reality of computers. If you’re in the 30 and older set, you probably already save often while you work, which protects you from most data losses. However, if your desktop computer, network server, or a particular critical piece of software you use regularly crashes, it is time to consider how much the lost data and time is costing you.
2. Reboot or Start-up Takes More Than a Couple of Minutes
While waiting for your computer to boot up in the morning, do you find yourself walking away from your desk, making coffee, sorting through mail, talking to co-workers, re-organizing your file cabinets… If your computer takes a loooooonnnngggg time to boot up, you’re not just wasting precious time and productivity. You’re receiving a warning. Call your IT provider and have them run a diagnostic. There could be any number of issues that will only get worse with time. So the next time you find yourself twiddling your thumbs during boot up, grab your phone and make a call!
3. Sharing Files within Your Organization or with Third-Parties Has Become Difficult or Impossible
Has something like the following happened to you?
Your accountant asks for you to send a spreadsheet with your monthly sales. You send the QuickBooks file, or your carefully constructed Excel file. But then they call you back and say they can’t open it, because the file version is too old.
Or maybe you created a lovely newsletter for your customers. You upload the file to the printer of your choice (the best prices in town!), but they ask you what the heck you used to create the file… they haven’t seen that file extension in 10 years!
You have 3 people in your company who collaborate on proposals and quotes. One person’s Microsoft Office suite is from 2005, while the other 2 have brand new computers. Every time they open and work on the shared files, the format is converted and major layouts (fonts, margins, spacing, formatting) are lost or changed, forcing everyone to waste time re-building files before completing their contributions.
How much time does your company lose accommodating old software? It may be time to upgrade.
4. You Have Trouble Adding New Software or Hardware to Your Network
Your company just added an amazing new print and fax machine that allows networked computers to send documents directly for faxing. It also will collate, fold and staple booklets! But 3 of the computers on the network can’t use the new machine, because there are no drivers for their old operating system… Replace the print and fax machine in the above scenario with new flat screen monitors, scanners, printers, office productivity software; the majority of new technology has trouble working with older hardware and/or operating systems.
If your IT person has trouble jumping through hoops to get your routers, firewall, desktop computers, and wireless devices cooperating seamlessly, it might be time to consider upgrading. You might be missing out on new levels of convenience, productivity and time-savings, because your old systems can’t leverage new technology.
5. Strange Noises, Wheezes, Bangs or Whines Are Coming From Your Computer!
Now, this one should be obvious, but it bears mentioning. If your computer makes a lot of noise, it might be in its death throws! Does it whine and rev every time you launch a program? Does it bang and clank when you boot up in the morning? Is there a high-pitched spinning sound? If it didn’t sound like that when it first came out of the box all those years ago, it shouldn’t sound like that now.
Don’t ignore these things, or else tomorrow you just might not be able to turn your computer on. You certainly can’t afford that!