Is It Time to Upgrade Your Technology?

When determining technology needs and upgrades, many important questions should be considered: Is this the right time to consider a change? How will this affect the agency’s daily workload? When should we do it? Is this right for our organization?

Changing software or technology can be a big deal. Despite what some vendors might say, it’s a significant change that requires a well-thought out plan and good decision-making that will lead to a beneficial long-term solution.

Five Key Questions to Ask Before Upgrading Your Agency’s Technology

  1. How Much Will It Cost and Do We Have the Funds to Support an Upgrade?

Sit down with your partners in budgeting and IT to discuss what funds are available for an upgrade. Identify all hardware and software upgrades needed, upfront costs, install costs, and costs associated with maintenance and down time.

When discussing these financials, be sure to include cost saving considerations over the long run by upgrading your technology, such as the time and money saved by installing a more efficient system and less time spent accumulating customer data and reports. This will help give a side-by-side comparison of how much a system upgrade will cost in the long run versus maintaining the current system and/or technology.

  1. How Much Is Your Agency Currently Spending on IT and Support?

Next, determine what your current system is costing you. Are most of your expenses capital expenses, operational expenses, services expenses, or personnel expenses accumulated by users of the software and technology? Then, ask yourself where you could see a reduction in those expenses. For example, maybe you spend a lot of money quarterly by manually installing software upgrades and backing up computers. This is when an automated, cloud-based system could save you both time and money in the future.

  1. Are You Confident That Your Servers, Work Stations and Infrastructure Are Secure, Up-to-Date and Protected?

How is your agency doing with updating, protecting and securing data on your current system? If you are unsure whether your agency’s components are 100% current with back-ups and anti-virus software and are protected against spyware and other threats, then it’s time to seek a technology upgrade.

  1. Are You Protected Against Data Loss?

Data loss, even when recovered, can be damaging and costly because it often means significant down time while retrieving the lost data. In addition, some systems only back up on a daily or weekly schedule, in which case some data is still lost. There are a variety of storage solutions available that can protect from data loss in the event of a natural disaster or security breach. Cloud-based back-up services have come a long way, and because no data is stored in a single place—but many places—they are less susceptible to natural disasters and data is backed up almost at the time of creation.

  1. What Are You Looking For in a Technology Provider?

All software vendors are not equal, and choosing the right one is critical to a seamless and successful install.  Careful selection of technology vendors involves evaluating the following factors: product quality, efficiency, usability, error correction, client support, service, on-site installation, and on-going enhancements. Considering all these factors when choosing a technology vendor will help cut installation costs, minimize downtime, deliver reliable support, and ensure software upgrades.

Is it time for new technology at your agency? Maybe you didn’t even realize what your current system is costing you in lack of efficiency, security and data loss. A close look at what you are currently spending and how an investment in new technology can save you money over the long run may lead you to conclude: it’s time for new technology!

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