Beyond Beige: Bringing Your Technology into the 21st Century

January 22nd, 2019 by Julie Lough

Upgrade TechnologyIt’s Friday night. Your spouse is at Blockbuster picking out the newest VHS release. Your kids are at home alone dancing on the couch to MC Hammer. You’re stuck at the office behind your beige computer trying to finish the week’s work so you can start enjoying your weekend.

Does any of this sound familiar? Like, last-week familiar? No, you’re not back in 1992, and you probably aren’t watching VHS tapes or listening to “Too Legit to Quit” anymore. But if your PC is still beige or nearly old enough to drink, it’s definitely time to bring your technology into the 21st century.

Most business owners consider technology upgrades to be too disruptive of business operations and too costly and, thus, they ignore or put them off. They’re further afraid that any new upgrades will hurt employee productivity while they learn new software and hardware solutions.

Nothing could be further from the truth than those worries. Upgrades can be costly, disruptive and cause inefficiencies. However, with the right IT partner, they don’t have to be.

If you plan ahead, upgrades don’t have to be so difficult. In fact, if you’re replacing your workstations and other technology on a schedule, upgrades will be far less disruptive, affecting only some of your employees rather than all of them. Partnering with an experienced IT provider will help keep your systems current as they will take care of the most common updates and alert you of upcoming changes that may require upgrades.

Time to Upgrade?

Years ago, when conducting an initial assessment of a new client’s IT infrastructure, we found they were using hardware from a manufacturer that had gone out of business. Admittedly, we were shocked. The organization was operating with unsupported hardware that would never receive updates or patches from the now-dead manufacturer. It was most definitely time for them to upgrade.

What are some signs you need to upgrade?

Start with your technology’s age. Are your hardware and operating system still supported? In some industries, businesses are required by regulation to have hardware that is manufacturer-supported and under warranty. No matter your industry, you should be upgrading workstations at least once every five years.

Then, estimate how often you and your employees are experiencing issues that disrupt work. Are these issues you’ve experienced repeatedly that never seem to be solved? Maybe you have a great IT provider, but they just can’t fix the issue. It may be the age of your software and hardware that is causing your difficulties.

Assess your security measures. Are all your systems protected by best-of-breed, up-to-date cybersecurity solutions? Older operating systems and hardware can prevent you from installing the most modern information security solutions.

Are your systems lagging? If your employees are waiting around for a program to open, it’s often your hardware not being able to support your software. Usually, this is because there are newer versions of software on older workstations. The most cost-effective way to fix this problem is by upgrading.

Consider your organization’s work style and employee happiness. Are employees increasingly working from home? You’ll need newer systems with the functionality to enable that. Further, employees prefer working on modern workstations.

Remember solutions’ end-of-life dates. Is your organization planning or has it already upgraded from Windows 7 and Office 2010? Both will no longer be supported by Microsoft in 2020. You need to be preparing to upgrade soon.

Finally, if your computer is beige, has an operating system older than Windows 7 or you hear strange sounds emanating from your machine, it’s probably time to replace it.

We can take care of that for you.

Upgrade Your Tech with Micro Visions

Whether you want to upgrade your systems, move to the cloud, implement secure backups or strategically plan your IT, we’re here to help. Micro Visions has provided Grand Rapids-area business with expert IT strategy, service and support for over 30 years.

Upgrade your IT managed service experience by partnering with us for all your technology needs. Contact us today online or at 616.776.0400.