These days, a good IT department is the lifeblood of your business. It can make or break you. If your IT personnel drops the ball, you will find your company taken over by a ransomware attack and pay a quarter’s worth of revenue to get your data back. That is the moment when you realize that your company’s data is worth a lot more than a quarter’s worth of revenue. This is a lesson you cannot afford to be taught more than once.
The IT department wields a lot of power for many reasons. One of those reasons is that they are the only ones who can really decide when it is time to make changes to your workstations. They have specialized knowledge that most people don’t. Your workstations amount to a large part of your budget. Keeping them maintained is expensive, and replacing them is more expensive. This is one of those decisions that has to be right. Get it wrong and the financial implications could be catastrophic. If replacements are necessary, how many, and for what? Whenever hardware has to be replaced, training becomes a factor. This is not the thing you want to do casually or carelessly. If you don’t have an IT department making these decisions for you, here are some signs that it is time to upgrade the workstations in your office:
When It Is Time to Go Mobile
Your IT lifecycle management has to move into high gear the moment you realize that all your eggs are in the on-prem basket in a world that demands mobile and remote work. The software for mobile device management is a solved problem for every platform. It is past time we ask ourselves why we keep replacing desktop workstations with more desktops that are as immobile as the last.
The Next Unit of Computing (NUC) boxes are so inexpensive that workstations can be replaced with something like that, and every worker could be issued a laptop that they keep at home. This setup extends the boundaries of the office to a world without boundaries. Of course, such a change will require the assistance of professional IT implementers who specialize in making such transitions affordable, quick, and painless. You will know when it is time to replace your hardware when your needs extend beyond the walls of your office, but your hardware does not.
When Your Productivity Is Being Compromised
Computers should be fast enough so that they are waiting for you and not the other way around. Imagine how much productivity would be lost if you had to wait one second before each keystroke is registered. If typing didn’t feel instant, it would feel broken. Yet far too many people in the typical office are sitting around waiting for their computers to catch up with them, depending on the task.
Too many customer service reps have to tell the person on the line that the system is being slow today. In the sales department, this is the death of a contract. Sometimes the problem is with the internet connection. Sometimes it is the internal network. Much of the time, it is that outdated Celeron processor in that Windows 7 machine that is robbing you of productivity. When your productivity is being hindered, it is time to upgrade your hardware.
When Your IT Budget Gets Too High
Some machines cost more to keep them running than it would cost to simply replace them. It is not a simple calculus to make. But at some point, your time and frustration has to factor into the equation. A stuck key on a laptop might not seem like much of a problem. But if you type 3,000 words a day and the keyboard is not easily replaceable, you have a problem. If your screen has a crack in just the wrong place and your laptop is out of warranty, you are in trouble. Can you work around these issues? Sure. But it might not be worth it to do so. Sometimes, you can just feel when it is time to abandon that old hardware for something better.
When you need to transition to mobile and remote, when your productivity is being compromised, and when the repair bills are adding up, it is time to retire the old hardware and replace it with something new.