Last week I was speaking with someone as I was helping them get their computer working. They had a very old computer and I suggested they buy a new one. T

hey said first come the bills, and if there is anything left they can buy a new computer. Since there’s nothing left, they don’t buy a new computer. I can appreciate this and do understand.

They were using Windows 98 on an old Dell computer.

Small businesses (that’s you reading this I presume) struggle with the day to day necessities of where to spend their money. Do you pay employees? Do you invest in fixed assets, buildings or other capital expenditures? Do you pay for business expansion? Do you pay off debt? Do you buy more product? Do you hire more staff?
One thing small businesses don’t invest enough on is new technology and in particular computers.

I know many businesses, like my friend in the example above, have very old computers because a) they don’t create room in their budget for new technology or b) they simply don’t know what technology they need to invest in.

Intel shared with me some points to help guide you in technology investments for your business, in particular buying new computer.

First of all, we need to understand that running a small business has changed:

•    Communication has gone video

•    Mobility is not a luxury (one of my 6 Rules)

•    Security threats are increasing

•    Energy regulations are global

Intel finds that smaller businesses with 50 – 99 employees tend to have computers older than three years old almost 50% of the time.

Two problems with older computers, other than the fact that they are increasingly slower as time goes by, are:

1) Older computers experience more security incidents

2) Repair costs on an older computer increases (when your hardware warranty expires repair costs increase even more)

In addition to these two points, the fact is that older computers cannot perform as fast as new computers, hence you are missing out on the changes your business needs to make to keep up and THRIVE in our changing, global world. Yes, even in this miserable and frightening economy.

Furthermore buying a new computer will give you a:

•    More security (with built in security for notebooks – preventing access to the operating system)

•    More features that matter. For example, Intel’s IT Director has a health dashboard so you always know the health of your computer

•    The ability to work faster while checking for viruses

•    Intel vPro Technology is a powerful technology to help you protect, monitor and manage your computer

Using computers that are 4, 5 or 6 years old does not save you money.
Since you are not SPENDING money on new computers you think you are saving money.

But the lost productivity, security vulnerability, inability to properly manage the computer, and other things, really mean that month to month you could be losing money. This results in you giving your employees unneeded frustration and not serving your customers as best as you can.

As you work more mobile, new computers, installed with the right software and hardware is even more important.

Ramon Ray is the editor and tech evangelist for Smallbiztechnology.com