If there’s one thing that small businesses are laser-focused on, it’s cost control and cash flow. And, this is often their most common rationale for putting off upgrades in workplace equipment. After all, why fix it if it isn’t broken, right? Wrong! Just because equipment happens to “still keep up” doesn’t mean it is operating efficiently or safely. Plus, postponing equipment upgrades is a classic case of businesses trying to avoid short term costs, while ignoring the long-term—and often bigger—expenses of keeping old equipment that has long outlived its worth.
For example, if you don’t remember the last time you had upgraded the PCs in your office, consider this: A survey by Techaisle found that small businesses are forking out an average of more than US $500 per year on computers that are more than 4 years old.
That’s not all. Besides higher operating costs and maintenance, there are many other reasons to upgrade or replace your old equipment.
Security issues. Relying on old technology and equipment often means exposing your business to security risks. The HP 2015 Cyber Risk Report confirmed that computers older than 3 years are 28% more vulnerable to virus attacks, while such laptops are 58% more likely to fall prey to viruses.
Not just security from cyber-attacks, new technology also comes with sufficient defense mechanisms to provide protection from natural disasters or sudden power outages. It’s not possible to evade such disasters completely, but you should be able to recover the damages — the sooner, the better. Keeping your workplace equipment up-to-date ensures better control over your business even when disaster strikes.
Employee productivity. A cost that most business owners don’t take into consideration is the productivity loss caused due to equipment repair, poor system performance, security attacks, and connectivity related problems. For instance, it will take more time to repair equipment that’s outdated, which means it won’t be available for your staff, causing unnecessary hassle. And, if it’s something as critical as a PC where the majority of daily work gets done, it could result in loss of productive hours.
Speed. Time is money. Even more so in today’s competitive business environment where the ability to deliver faster than your competitors is a huge plus. The opposite is equally true. New technology not only enables you to get the job done faster but also allows you to automate some of the most mundane tasks, saving more time for you and your team to focus on other important tasks. Also, getting more done in a day means you can take on more business.
Your older equipment might still be in working condition. But that’s not enough. When you analyze how much energy it consumes and what profit you are getting in return from using it, you will know whether it makes sense to keep your old equipment or replace it.
If you are concerned about investing in a piece of equipment that can become obsolete within a few years—which is indeed the case with most technologies—leasing is an option worth exploring.