Investing in new technology can sometimes be costly, but in an increasingly competitive market, small business owners are discovering having the right tech on hand pays dividends. Investing in tech can increase productivity, it can improve staff satisfaction, boost performance and ensure your SMB stays ahead of the competition. So how will you know when it’s time to upgrade and what are the benefits?
When there are not enough hours in the day
One of the significant benefits of upgrading your tech is the amount of time you can save on everyday tasks. With a staggering 450 million people worldwide using a PC that is five years old or older, chances are your small biz is operating with outdated tech. While you might think you’re saving money by holding off on upgrading, all these old machines could be impacting significantly on your productivity. According to a recent report by Intel 42 productive work hours are lost every year while older computers are being repaired. Couple this with the time wasted by staff waiting for unresponsive systems to work and you can begin to imagine the savings you could make by upgrading.
Older PCs take time to start up and shut down. They have trouble multitasking, consume more power and in the case of laptops have a shorter battery life. Their processors are slower and will not compare to the speed of a new machine powered by Intel’s 8th generation processors. The latest Intel-powered laptops and 2-in-1s are almost 50 per cent faster than a five-year-old machine. Web browsing, multitasking, emailing, will all be twice as fast when you invest in new tech and your staff will thank you for it.
Traditionally, small business owners are not necessarily the most tech savvy. However if you’re at a loss as to what tech you might need, a small business technology advisor can assist by designing a solution that delivers the right hardware, software and services for your SMB.
‘My computer at home is faster’
When the above comment becomes a popular refrain among your staff, it could be time to consider upgrading your tech. Nothing kills employee morale more than being forced to work on outdated machines. Especially when a staff member’s own technology outstrips that which they work on. Lag time leads to frustration and frustration leads to employee dissatisfaction. When you consider that according to research conducted by Sharp, staff can spend as long as 167 hours waiting for their PCs and overloaded printers to do their job, that’s a lot of wasted hours. If your staff aren’t happy then it reflects in their performance. Can you really afford to have disgruntled staff?
How secure is your old tech?
Outdated tech is not only unproductive, it’s a security risk. With small businesses increasingly under attack from cybercriminals, it’s vital to ensure your tech is up to date. Cybersecurity incidents are currently costing Australian business in excess of $29 billion a year. According to the ACCC, 60 per cent of cyber scams are being delivered via email or through unsecured computers. In many instances attacks could have been prevented if users had simply applied patches or updated their software. While a recent Dell Small Business, Intel and Techworld survey discovered the biggest threat to SMB security was through human error, with 35 per cent of SMB owners reporting that ‘staff accidentally or intentionally put themselves and the company at risk’. Therefore ensuring security is built-into hardware is one way to up the ante on your small business’s cybersecurity. The latest Intel-powered PCs and laptops offer built-in security such as two-step authentication. They employ biometrics such as fingerprint and facial recognition which adds a further layer of security.
So what is biometrics? And how does facial recognition work? Kochie’s Business Builders’ resident tech expert, Val Quinn explains:
“The computer uses your laptop’s camera to scan and locate landmark features on a user’s face such as the location of the eyes, nose and mouth and maps this data. It couples this with an algorithm to build a representation. This model is then used to unlock your computer.”
Can you keep up with the competition?
Remaining competitive is imperative for any small business. When your staff show up to a meeting with outdated tech; when they have trouble connecting their hardware or struggle to have a presentation load, it can reflect badly on your business. Customers and potential clients will see your outdated tech as a reflection of your abilities as a business. Do you really want to be perceived as a dinosaur? Even if you can’t afford to have the latest tech for all your staff, it’s important that any client-facing team members have laptops that can perform under pressure. Innovations from IT solution providers such as Dell mean that SMEs can deliver tech that is just as good as that of the large corporations. While options such as PCaaS can ensure having the latest tech for your team is affordable
How about a tax rebate?
The government recently announced the extension of the $20k instant asset tax write-off to June 30, 2019. The incentive allows businesses to claim up to $20,000 in a single transaction for business equipment. The $20k can be claimed multiple times.
“This year’s federal budget offered a variety of sweeteners to small business. The biggest cherry was the extension of the instant asset write off,” says small business expert David Koch. “Businesses with a turnover of $10 million dollars or less will be able to deduct assets up to $20K multiple times, and that’s a whole lot of new computers!”