Outdated Hardware or Unsupported Software? Share Many small and medium sized businesses often use unsupported software programs and regularly struggle with outdated hardware. Trying to keep technology current is a difficult task for a number of reasons. Questions such as "Do we have the finances to update our technology now?" and "How do we determine what needs replacement and what we can continue to use for another year?" are mulled over by many decision makers. Small and medium sized businesses often continue to use functional systems that are no longer efficient because they want to receive the perceived maximum value from their information technology (IT) investment. What can small and medium sized businesses do to help plan for IT expenditures? Many cash strapped businesses find it useful to put together a document listing their IT resources and a time line for needed hardware/software updates and upgrades. Remember that your IT time line should stay focused on delivering systems and services in line with your company's objectives. Upgrading to the latest technology because it is available may not be reason enough to justify an IT expenditure. However, upgrading because your existing system is unsupportable or no longer adequate for your company's needs are valid and justifiable business reasons. When preparing for all IT expenditures, strongly assess the business value that each investment will bring. Does this new technology have the potential to improve your bottom line? Does the investment create the potential to increase your company's competitive advantage? Once you have taken the steps to plan for your IT expenditures, you will find that you no longer have to react to obsolete equipment breaking down at inopportune times or incompatible software damaging customer relations. If you need assistance planning your IT upgrades, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 260.423.2414.