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Is It Time for An Upgrade?

September 17, 2018

Every company from the largest financial institution to the local corner store needs reliable technology to stay productive.

How do you determine when your vital equipment needs to be replaced?

One of the most comprehensive solutions is to create a Lifecycle Replacement plan. LCR plans often partner with a provider whose trained technicians know when each piece of hardware needs refreshment.

Lifecycle replacement plans are common practice at large institutions, such as universities. These institutions know that individual departments can’t be burdened with determining when computers and other devices need to be refreshed. Instead, every department adheres to the same university lifecycle replacement schedule. Many businesses and government organizations have adopted similar programs to relieve the burden from in-house staff.

Outside of an LCR, there are other tips and tools to help you know when it is time to upgrade your tech. 

Determine the OEE of your daily use devices.

OEE (Operational Equipment Effectiveness) is the rate between what your equipment is producing and what it theoretically should produce.

As devices like printers age, their overall effectiveness decreases.

A downgraded OEE means more time spent producing the same output. If there is any downtime due to servicing or equipment failure, OEE is further reduced.

One of the best ways to ensure a high OEE for an extended period is to enroll your equipment in an ongoing maintenance program. Expert technicians can stay ahead of common issues that eventually cause breakdowns while increasing the total lifespan of your devices.

Training your staff on proper usage of office technology also increases its OEE. Sudden changes in workflow and production will put a strain on your equipment.

Older technology costs more to operate.

You may look at the cost of new tech and assume you are saving money by continuing to operate older equipment. However, the cost of maintaining office equipment increases with age. For example, did you know that printers and copiers use more toner as their lifespan increases?

Your average cost of printing per page will go up with the age of your printer. Assuming your production needs remain the same, this can result in a significant cost increase by the end of the year.

By tracking the frequency of purchases like toner and cartridges and comparing current results to previous years, you can begin to calculate at what point your printer should be replaced to increase cost-effectiveness.

A new high-quality printer will have a much lower cost per page than an older or less expensive device. Therefore, if your business prints a lot, investing in a new higher-end printer may be the more economical choice.

IT equipment has a limited lifespan.

Every business needs to innovate to thrive.

You can’t run a growing company with outdated IT equipment.

Investing in new computers, laptops, tablets, laser printers, and accessories can be costly. Still, equipment capable of running the latest software and receiving current updates will give you access to the best business management and security tools. Older equipment poses a higher security risk.

Microsoft reports that the average life of a PC is 4.4 years.

Eventually, an older computer’s operating system will be phased out. With newer devices often offering faster production and more substantial processing power–the time to consider an upgrade is before the technology fails or becomes obsolete. Do not entrust your valuable data to legacy devices.

Know the repair cost before buying new.

Repair can be the more economical choice for small devices like receipt printers.  If the equipment is still in good physical condition, under warranty, or doesn’t require frequent software updates to operate, you may want to consider the value of a depot repair service over purchasing new.

Determining how and when to fix a piece of office equipment takes a careful cost analysis.

Make decisions to upgrade with an eye to the future.

Many new technologies are already changing the way companies do business. A few of the biggest disruptors include:

  • The internet of things
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Blockchain

The internet of things will affect everything from data access to inventory management.

Artificial intelligence will enable businesses to augment machine learning in real-time. A.I. will have applications that include equipment monitoring and increased automation of daily tasks.

Additionally, proponents of blockchain technology think it will provide transformative solutions to everything from securing company financials to executing contracts and building better infrastructure.

Futurists will continue to debate where and when each new wave of tech will replace the current way of working. What’s important to remember is that the adoption of this new technology on a grand scale is only a few years away.

Nobody wants to invest in technology that will soon be obsolete. Determining what technology to upgrade should be made in conjunction with an understanding of the new shifting business landscape.