No one wants to spend money on new technology unless they really have to. Unfortunately, for many of us, we buy technology when what we have is no longer working. I've learned, however, that often times, keeping technology refreshed will help ensure you and your employees are working as productively as possible.
In a survey of over 1,000 IT professionals, Spiceworks found that small and medium businesses are holding on to their servers and laptops longer these days, but most are also planning to make significant investments in new hardware and software over the next six months.
When customers are spending less and you must create tighter budgets, there might not be much you can do, but cut spending, including in the areas of technology.
However, it's important to work with your technology adviser to develop a technology plan, even if it has to be adjusted, so that as your budget increases you can strategically invest in the right technology to help you grow your business.
Spiceworks survey found that the following areas of investments are "hot". How do you compare to your peers?
--51 percent are planning new software purchases. Security and anti-spam solutions top the list with 32 percent of SMBs planning such purchases within the next six months. Of these, just over 1 in 3 (35 percent) plan to buy cloud-based security and anti-spam offerings.
--44 percent are using virtualization solutions. Within small and medium business networks, 21 percent of their total server computing capacity is virtualized. Over the next six months, 30 percent of SMBs plan to deploy or expand virtualization in their networks.
--25 percent are planning backup and recovery purchases within the next six months. Of these, 75 percent plan to store data on premise and 25 percent plan to utilize cloud-based storage solutions. 42 percent of data is slated to be stored on network-attached storage (NAS) or storage area network (SAN) devices. 38 percent will be stored in direct-attached and local storage, 7 percent is planned to be hosted offsite, and 13 percent on tape and other media.
--57 percent currently use one or more “cloud computing” services. The three most popular cloud computing services in use or on the purchase list include anti-spam (43 percent), hosted email (25 percent), and online backup (20 percent).
Software purchases are important as you get updates, which can make you more productive, make the software more secure and give you enhanced features and functionality that you might have been waiting for.
Hardware updates are so important, as it's the small and big improvements in hardware, such as notebook computers and desktop computers that can make the difference between all day battery computing and 3 hour computing.
Technology can be expensive. However, by investing in the right technology you can boost your business profit, revenue, productivity, customer service, internal communication and more.