Any business, regardless of the size or industry, will face many challenges. Whether it’s a strict deadline, harsh industry regulations or aggressive competition, the business world will always offer its share of difficulties.
Despite being so crucial to a business’ bottom line, one challenge that is often overlooked is IT. Specifically, the ongoing maintenance of its lifecycle.
There are many subtle (and some not so subtle) signs that it may be time to upgrade your technology:
1. Does Your Hardware Function Properly?
As step number 1, it doesn’t get much easier than this:
In a nutshell, you need to know whether your hardware is holding you back, making you wait, and slowing your business down.
2. Is The Software Up To Date?
Now that you’ve determined how functional the hardware is, the next step is the software. Even if this technology hasn’t been turned on in a week, there will likely be some updates that have to take place.
Updates are important because they correct existing errors and mistakes in software, and patch potential flaws that could leave it vulnerable to security threats.
One by one, open up each program you would plan to use on a regular basis. If there are updates that need to be installed, a pop-up window will likely open on start-up. However, if the previous owner turned off that automatic function, you’ll need to manually check for updates, which can be done in the program preferences.
Warning – installing multiple updates can take a long time. The longer that this technology has been sitting unused, the longer you can expect the update process to take. This could potentially be hours or even an entire working day in some situations.
3. What Is The Status Of Licenses And Warranties?
After double-checking that everything is up to date, the next step will be to confirm the status of any existing licenses and warranties.
Depending on the type of business, there may be specific software needed for daily operations. It could be Quickbooks for accounting and bookkeeping or Oracle Micros for restaurant Point of Sales, but the bottom line is that if you need it to get work done, you should know whether you can use it.
See, while the program may be installed on your hardware, that doesn’t mean that the licenses originally purchased for it won’t have expired. The most direct way to check if the license is still in good standing is often just to try to use the software. If that doesn’t answer the question for you, then try looking at the About page for the software.
There are a variety of reasons why you may decide to hold off on making a major upgrade to your technology, such as the cost and hassle. However, avoiding the issue for too long will do more harm than good, and will affect your productivity, security, and ability to get work done.