When Should You Invest in Better IT Infrastructure?

Expense management software with old tech

As cloud solutions like ExpenseIn’s expense management software become increasingly common features of our work setups, the speed at which we access data has an increasingly significant bearing on efficiency. But how do you determine when to invest back into better equipment and infrastructure?

Hardware

The normal lifespan for a computer and workstation add-ons is 5 years. This number, of course, is not set in stone, but as computing power increases according to Moore’s Law (the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years), 5 years ago might as well be the Stone Age. Even if tasks are limited to simple office applications and spreadsheets, having a fast computer will save time and keep staff from becoming frustrated with what they consider outdated machines.

As hardware becomes more accessible (the computing power in a simple and modern workstation is something we could only dream of 10 years back) and prices become more affordable, it does not require a huge investment to improve the speed of the office computers.

If your workstations are 5+ years old it’s recommended to get a completely new machine, but if they are less than that, upgrading individual parts may be a more efficient route. Adding an additional screen will help with having multiple documents open at the same time, and upgrading to an SSD (Solid State Drive) will dramatically improve both start up and data access times. While you might not see instant hard number improvements by making such an investment, you will notice a difference in overall business efficiency in the long run.

Infrastructure

With cloud solutions a limiting factor can be the speed of your internet connection. This is especially true if the office is located in a less urban area, where some internet services may not be as developed. Waiting for large files to download or upload hinders efficiency and can be avoided by opting for the most stable and fastest internet connection.

If you have a single access point (router/cable modem) in your office, Wi-Fi extenders can increase the speed for employees located further away or behind walls. For maximum speed, always connect directly to the router via a cable, although Wi-Fi is usually enough for normal document handling.

Check with your internet provider and, if they have faster connections available, an upgrade is recommended.

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