Managing tech upgrades for your small or medium-sized business can be a daunting task. There are overlapping budgets and capabilities to consider, not to mention aesthetics and personal preferences. Put all of that together and it’s easy to overspend, get the wrong thing, or end up with the newest version of a device that isn’t all it was promised to be.

One thing business owners and executives tend to miss in the shuffle is that even the newest and most cutting-edge piece of technology will eventually have to be replaced. In fact, “eventually” might come a lot sooner than you imagine. No matter how shiny, fast, or feature-rich that phone or computer seems now, there will come a time when it needs to be upgraded yet again.

You can help your business and bottom line by keeping these eventualities in mind. In other words, you can buy a piece of tech armed with the knowledge that you might be shopping for the thing that’s going to replace it in as little as a year or two.

How do you factor that into your plans and calculations? Let’s look at a few details you should keep in the back of your mind…

Expected Life Cycle
Most technology has an expected life that can be accurately predicted. You might expect a phone to last a few years, for example, or for an external hard drive to make it through a solid decade of service. If you don’t know how long to plan for, you can consult manufacturer’s warranties. Or, you could speak to your outsourced IT team and get answers from them.

Naturally, you don’t want to count on a piece of tech lasting much longer than it was intended to. At the same time, you don’t want to plan for expensive upgrades long before they’re going to be necessary, either.

Device Reliability
This point is related to the last one, but reliability is a separate factor. While all pieces of tech have an anticipated life cycle, some brands and manufacturers are stronger than others. For instance, you probably have iPods and other devices around your home or office that continue to work even though they are several generations behind.

That might not be a reason to hold off on upgrades to your business tech, but it does say something about reliability. In many cases it’s better to buy a quality product that you can count on for a little more money than it is to deal with unexpected expenses later.

Compatibility with Other Tech
These days, it isn’t necessarily common that a device like a tablet is replaced because it stops working. Instead, what happens is that the older piece of tech simply stops working with newer hardware and apps.

Because newer, better, and faster things are coming out all the time, you have to anticipate that you’re eventually going to start using tools that outstrip your current devices. For that reason, it’s better to be slightly more aggressive (rather than conservative) with your upgrade plans when you aren’t sure. Again, this is an area where a good IT provider can provide a lot of guidance and advice.

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Approach to IT Spending and Strategy?
While upgrading things like apps and devices is important to keeping your business running, the smartest improvement you can make is to your business tech strategy. If you feel like you’re spending too much, getting too little, or not utilizing the tools you need to push your company forward, it’s time to start getting better advice.

The Los Angeles-based team at Fantastic IT knows what it takes to help grow a business while keeping IT costs down. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn why so many business owners throughout Southern California don’t trust their computers, networks, and devices to anyone else.