Small Business Services

3 Signs That You Need a Technology Upgrade

Back in the days when the computer you wanted cost $5,000 and the one you could afford to buy cost $2,000, the thought of investing in new hardware was more traumatic than it is today. We used to delete old programs off of our hard drives to make room for more. Buy new chips and install them to get the benefits of a better processor. Anything to avoid paying for a whole new CPU, let alone several for your office.

And anyone who remembers the days of pricey computers can recall the many hours we spent reinstalling software and moving data files from the old system to the new.

Today, a reasonably good business PC costs less than a quarter what it used to, and a lot of our work is done on the internet. The affordability question has been replaced by different ones: What am I unable to do because of hardware limitations? and, How much time am I losing babying this old system along?

Both questions are hard to answer definitively, but you probably have a good idea how dated your computer is. Here are three things to watch out for.

You’re using an operating system that’s a couple of upgrades old, and you can’t install a newer one because of its hardware requirements. This isn’t a terrible problem if you’re just using basic productivity applications like Word and Excel, along with web-based email. But if you’re doing anything with social media, you’re dealing with video, which can be a resource hog. And if you’re playing state-of-the art games – well, you probably aren’t.

Desktop-based applications run slowly and/or are hard to load. There are still plenty of businesses running software that they’ve installed from a CD. And since the desktop products that are still being used have probably gone through numerous upgrades and revisions, given that so much is being released straight to the web or translated from the desktop these days, they’re probably chugging along under the weight of years and years of added code.

Your hard drive is running out of space. Really? Yes, it still happens. All of those pretty pictures and videos and slideshows and presentations that businesses use take up a lot more space than even the old 7-floppy-disk installations. You can put in a bigger hard drive or go to cloud-based storage, but this is an indication that it’s time for a change.

Outdated processors, inadequate memory, overly-full hard drives – these will all make themselves known by a degradation of performance. And it’s not just the time you spend waiting for your PC to catch up. It’s the time and concentration you lose because you switch to another task while you’re waiting and lose your focus. So know when to fold ’em.

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