Technology is an investment: Tips to help you spend wisely

Guest post by Ferdinand Siquioco, SMB Segment Marketing Manager, HP Canada

There’s no doubt that investing in technology is good for your business, but let’s face it – technology hardware and software can be costly.  How can you be sure that you’re spending wisely? Here are four things every business owner should do when it comes to technology spending:

1. Have a plan

Many companies implement technology on an "as-needed" basis, purchasing software or hardware on an ad hoc basis.  The problem with this approach is you aren't examining how these new purchases can affect your business as a whole. A well-developed IT plan will ensure that you are implementing the right technology to improve customer satisfaction and support emerging business needs. Further, it allows you to acquire and implement IT infrastructure in phases rather than through massive and expensive upgrades that can really have an impact on the bottom line.

2. Ask an expert

Not sure how to create a technology plan? Ask an expert for help. Good small business technology consultants are worth their weight in gold. There's no need to be a technology guru, as long as you can tap into good technology advice from a reliable consultant. At Staples, you can speak to a technology consultant directly by calling 1-866-337-5817. Alternatively, HP’s partner locator is another way to find a technology expert in your area, and with the expertise you require (

3. Accept that your older technology might be a liability

Did you know holding onto older PCs and laptops can actually cost your business more than it would to replace them?  According to a March 2010 Techaisle study, older PCs  experience more downtime than newer PCs – about 50 hours of downtime per PC per year – and cost more to maintain. The same study found that nearly 40 per cent of the personal computers in small businesses are more than three years old, and a large percentage are running older operating systems such as Windows XP. If money is the only thing holding you back from replacing this outdated technology, consider that an investment in new equipment doesn’t have to mean a big up-front expense. In fact, many PC vendors offer financing and leasing programs that spread payments over a defined timeframe. Some manufacturers also have programs where SMBs can trade in their old desktops/monitors or notebooks for an average savings of $100 per user.

4. Don’t let data security be an afterthought

The effects of a data breach can be devastating, ranging anywhere from data theft to fines and reputation damage. Even worse, recovery can be a long and arduous process, and in some cases, impossible. That is why investing in security early on is imperative. Look for a computer that includes a built-in, comprehensive set of security management tools you can customize for your business, like HP Protect Tools. Features like smart card keyboards, drive-lock passwords and facial recognition can help to prevent unauthorized access to information by adding an extra level of security and encryption in the event of a security breach. A built-in security suite can also help isolate and fix a security breach without infecting other computers within your company’s network.

Today, technology is a requirement for any business, but it’s certainly not the only necessary expense you incur. Managing the lifespan of your technology, addressing security at the start and developing a technology plan for the future will help you ensure you spend wisely on IT solutions that make the biggest impact on your organization – and your bottom line.

Guest post by Ferdinand Siquioco, SMB Segment Marketing Manager, HP Canada

By Adam

October 19, 2011