Small and medium-sized businesses rely on technology to achieve their goals but also find the diversity of choices a challenge, according to a new industry study. The sheer number and types of solutions has grown in such size and complexity that many firms are “taking two steps forward and one back as they navigate these new learning curves.”
The decision to make technology upgrades can difficult. Many small businesses and nonprofits may delay buying new software, hardware or equipment because of the cost and perceived disruption, while others jump in and find they purchased some new piece of technology that was well-hyped, but it really does not provide the solution they hoped for.
At Sinu, we hear it all! An article by ZDNet.com columnist David Gewirtz, which offers 23 reasons to upgrade technology, touched on several of the the reasons we hear most from our clients, and inspired us to develop our own article on this topic.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 top arguments we hear when people come to us wanting to rethink their obsolete technology. Informed by one-on-one conversations with nonprofits and small business owners, as well as from several articles, including Gewirtz’s, we hope that this list generates the questions that will help you develop a cost-effective, long-term IT strategy for your organization.
1. You just really want it
“Gadget lust,” is what Gewirtz calls it, but if that bright, shiny new technology does not solve a problem, then it may not be worth the expense. We write about this in a recent blog about technology rollouts, which can be disruptive and may not always support your goals unless you have a plan in place and a partner that can help implement them correctly
2. Save time and increase productivity
While this seems like a no-brainer, it is important to understand your business goals and and how you get there. For instance, if many of your team members are on the road and work remotely, you may need to select software that provides seamless (and secure) remote access, even if it is a more costly up-front option than other solutions.
3. Remove annoyances
Removing constant annoyances, also known as tolerations, are often worth the investment. Gerwitz agrees, stating, “Tolerations cause stress and sap productivity. Eliminating or reducing tolerations not only helps you get more done, it frees up thinking cycles previously allocated to thoughts of frustration.”
4. Your technology is too slow
5. Ease of use
If your employees can learn the new technology quickly and easily and enjoy using it, you'll have a lot more buy-in and need to provide less support.
6. Old hardware no longer supports updates
This is critical, and should be addressed immediately. When obsolete technology can no longer support software updates, it is not only inconvenient because you may not be able to run the software you need, but it also puts your data at risk because it won’t take the latest security updates and patches.
7. Reduce operating costs
This is at the core of the Sinu philosophy and our solution. Choose technology that’s appropriate for small business and nonprofits, with an emphasis on reliability and security. Minimize IT infrastructure, because a room full of servers is a cost center that’s no longer a competitive advantage. In fact, by streamlining their technology, many Sinu’s customers save up to 60% on their IT.
8. Shift from CAPEX to OPEX
When you pay using a subscription model, whether it’s SaaS (Software as a Service), HaaS (Hardware as a Service), or Sinu’s all-inclusive subscription pricing model that includes unlimited support, your organization can buy resources as they're needed, scale up or down quickly, and potentially shift much of the IT costs from capital expenses (CAPEX) to operating expenses (OPEX) – or in the case of nonprofits, from administrative costs to programming.
Whether it is automated backups, security updates, or set-it-and-forget-it email marketing campaigns, when technology provides automated solutions that are currently being done manually, you can often save valuable employee hours and mitigate the risk of errors.
10. Support business continuity
Investing in technology, such as redundant cloud backup or a generator, can keep your organization going during a disaster. During Hurricane Sandy, Sinu’s customers did not lose data and they remained connected to their emails and other mission critical services because it was housed off-site in the cloud. If they could charge their devices and get online, they could continue to function.
When considering new technology, consider your business goals. We advise that you take the time to inventory your current IT solutions, understand where they are in their life cycle, and develop a long-term strategy that supports your organizational goals and helps keep your employees productive. For over 15 years, Sinu has been guiding small businesses and nonprofits through the ever-increasing complexities of technology solutions in the marketplace. Contact us to discuss which technologies can best support your organizational goals.