Updating Technology: 3 Signs It's Time

Here are three major indications that it is time for updating technology at your SMB.

Business technology, Retail

Money-conscious small businesses try to make everything last for as long as possible — even their technology. But sooner or later, outdated or inefficient equipment becomes a liability. Not having the tools you need can mean lost business or falling productivity.

Here are three major indications that it's the right time for updating technology at your business:

1. Productivity Is Hampered

Inadequate equipment can lead to wasted hours. For instance, your employees may complain that slow performance leaves them constantly waiting, unable to do their jobs. Programs and applications that are resource intensive often require larger and faster hard drives, so you may need to invest in higher capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid state drives (SSDs) to speed things up a bit. You might also need to upgrade to a faster internet speed in your workplace. Engage with an IT specialist to do a full assessment of your technology setup and discuss solutions.

2. Customer Service Is Suffering

Technology such as tablets, laptops and smartphones help your employees collaborate and can also enhance customer communication efforts. For instance, if your salespeople spend the majority of their time on the road, it may be worthwhile to provide them with smartphones so they can respond to customer inquiries quickly.

Some tech investments may open up new opportunities for customer service as well. Look into products that help you get to know your customers better, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software. This helps you target your customers with more personalized offers that better meet their needs.

3. You're Falling Behind Your Competitors

It is essential to have technology that enables your business to run efficiently and keep pace with the competition. Look into industry standards and regulations, as well as the competitive landscape, to ascertain whether your company's technology has been surpassed. If it has, you may face compliance issues or find yourself unable to compete with market rivals. For instance, if most of your competition is using tablets in their customer service efforts, you might want to follow suit.

If you have devices on hand that are no longer meeting your needs, trade-in programs can keep any SMB up to date with the latest technologies without breaking the bank. Updating technology has an up-front cost, but in many cases it's worth it in the long run.