Why a Technology Refresh is a Good Idea: A CIO Report

Almost every piece of technology has a lifespan. Each includes an estimate of how long they will last in the environment they are expected to work in. Once it has reached the end of its functional lifespan, it will need to be replaced.

In some cases, a company's hardware lasts far beyond its expected lifespan. Any breakdowns are repaired. They are integrated into new processes and are continued to be used. When technology continues to work, many view it as an opportunity to save money and continue operations as usual. Unfortunately, this view can be detrimental and lead to further problems in the future.

Each year a company uses technology beyond its expected lifespan will cost it in terms of productivity, reliability, and further resources. As a result, many companies are utilizing technology refreshes to avoid using hardware past their expiration and incurring unnecessary expenses. 

What is a Technology Refresh?

A technology refresh is the process of upgrading technological equipment and key systems to maintain or enhance their functionality. Instead of waiting until outdated elements break down or become obsolete, technology refreshes are scheduled in advance to prevent issues and improve predictability.

As maintaining outdated legacy infrastructure components is costly and time-consuming, technology refreshes are essential in today’s business world. Unaddressed, outdated technology can leave your systems vulnerable to hackers, decrease productivity, and even drive away your best employees due to poorly performing systems that complicate their work. Additionally, maintenance costs and failure risks associated with obsolete IT components can negatively affect day-to-day operations.

Benefits of a Technology Refresh

Keeping your old PCs and hardware around year after year won't benefit your business in the long run. Although you may save on purchasing costs, you will likely rack up indirect costs from equipment maintenance and sluggish performance. When considering a technology refresh, keep these four benefits in mind.

Remaining Current

Maintaining a refresh cycle eliminates the worry that older hardware will not be compatible with new purchases. Technology advances constantly, and industry standards and specifications change frequently. Often, the performance and efficiency of your network are determined by its weakest link, which is usually your aging hardware.

As opposed to spending valuable time integrating older tools into a growing operations system, all technologies will be at similar points in their life cycles and expected to work seamlessly. By providing employees with the necessary tools to do their jobs more effectively and reducing frustrations associated with old technology failing to work properly, upgrading hardware can also help employees feel more satisfied.

Reduced Downtime

Having your IT systems down is not an option in today's fast-paced and competitive business world. When systems go down often, bringing them back online can cost your company a significant loss in revenue. Having dysfunctional systems can also lead to important customers leaving your business, further deteriorating the situation.

A technology refresh can help your organization meet its latest needs, enabling it to launch enhanced operations and sustain them. Maintaining a regular refresh schedule can also minimize costly downtime for your business and protect its reputation.

Improved Security

The days of storing sensitive data in vaults or safes are over. Today, many companies store customer information, staff details, and company secrets on their IT systems. Using old and unsupported technology, even if still functional, carries a significant risk of losing information.

Cybercriminals can easily breach your security systems without the latest IT security services. However, keeping your technology up-to-date protects your business from security threats, safeguards important business property, and prevents lawsuits when confidential information is compromised.

Predictable Budgets

A technology refresh cycle enables companies to plan their hardware purchases well in advance and maintain long-term budget stability. Instead of wondering whether or not major expenditures will occur this year or dealing with various technology purchases over time, the refresh cycle provides a level of predictability that can be planned and budgeted ahead of time.

Predictability also simplifies the purchasing process. As the process begins before the hardware fails or needs to be replaced, businesses have time to determine which purchases are appropriate for their needs and offer the greatest return on investment. 

The worst time to buy is when the company needs the transaction completed right away. Knowing the technology refresh cycle well in advance eliminates the pressure of making decisions when something needs to be replaced immediately. In addition, by enhancing budgeting and purchasing decisions, management can make more informed business decisions, resulting in a smoother business cycle.

Signs That it's Time for a Technology Refresh

When systems are running, it may be difficult to determine the right time for a technology refresh. However, there are a few signs that indicate a technology refresh may be needed.

Systems are Slow

A slow system can rob a company of valuable time. Many factors can contribute to a slow system, including failed integration, viruses, and missing important updates. To return to optimal performance, identifying and resolving issues as soon as possible is paramount.

Receiving Suspicious Pop-Ups

Suspicious pop-up windows commonly inform users that their IT system is vulnerable to a security threat or has a technical issue. Cybercriminals then exploit worried users by demanding money to fix issues and eliminate threats that do not exist in order to exploit them. To keep such malicious players at bay, legacy systems should be updated immediately when pop-ups are happening frequently. 

Connection Problems

Getting cut off from the internet during a crucial meeting or task can be frustrating, but if it happens often, it can greatly affect your productivity. Frequent connection issues may indicate a flaw in your system that needs to be fixed. However, a system refresh may be necessary if software patching does not resolve the issue.

Unexpected Shutdowns

While it is common for systems to shut down to install critical updates, frequent, unpredictable shutdowns may be an indication that an underlying problem exists. Random shutdowns can be caused by various factors, such as a faulty power supply, viruses/malware, or damaged files. However, it could also indicate that the system needs to be updated or refreshed.

Poor Integration Between Your Software, Systems, and Technology

As technology continues to evolve at lightning speed, integration is an essential component for today's businesses. When problems arise, companies may also need to work with multiple vendors to find solutions. Consequently, technology components that are not integrated with the rest of the infrastructure should be replaced as soon as possible.

Your System Behaves Strangely

You may have seen situations where tabs opened and closed by themselves, your mouse moved in the opposite direction with no warning, things opened on your desktop at random, and files were downloaded without you knowing it. When this occurs, a system refresh is highly recommended. Patching and updating systems properly can prevent strange behavior.

Preparing for a Technology Refresh

Staying on top of the latest technology is not always easy. To ensure a seamless process, make sure you have procedures that do not disrupt work. Consider the following before conducting a technology refresh.

Evaluate Your Current Technology

The first step in performing a technology refresh should be an audit of your current IT infrastructure. Before you incur costs, determine what hardware is still serviceable, what needs to be updated, and what needs to be replaced. 

Budget for Technology Improvements

A well-planned budget for technology upgrades can help your business reduce expenses related to a technology refresh. It is easier to make room within your company's budget for technology upgrades if you determine your company's technological needs in advance.

Make Room for New Technology

Even though most current hardware tends to be more compact than legacy infrastructure, your company may still need to modify its working environment. In some cases, new technology may be integrated into desks, walls, and floors. Before conducting a tech refresh, analyze the organization's premises to determine what will be affected.

Assess Your Risks

Successful planning should also incorporate risk mitigation. Whether you analyze data, conduct research, or consult with a managed service provider, developing a contingency plan can help you avoid costly errors and other problems in the future.

Share Your Plan

If possible, communicate your plan with your major stakeholders, including staff, managers, and customers. Taking this step can have a significant impact on your business operations. Ask them to provide feedback on the upgrade or to identify any unexpected outcomes.

Reliable Managed IT Services

Trying to overcome technological obstacles on your own can be frustrating and overwhelming. For this reason, partnering with an experienced managed service provider can be crucial for your technology planning success. Leaving the process to the experts allows you to focus on growing your business while they deal with the necessary obstacles.

If you're considering a technology refresh, Prescient Solutions is here to help. With extensive experience in technology planning, we can help you determine which technology is most beneficial for your industry and develop a plan to maximize its benefits. 

To get started, contact our team at 847-349-4676.

Back to Blog


Sign up to receive the latest IT news and information from Prescient Solutions:


Or call: (888) 343-6040