Technology is an important investment for most companies. No matter what kind of industry you’re in, there’s no doubt you’re reliant on at least some tech.
Perhaps you have a VoIP system for internal communication or video conferencing tools for teamwork.
Maybe you have a contact center system and ticket support software to keep track of customer issues.
Even the computers and smartphones your employees use every day are important examples of “business tech”.
While some innovations cost more than others, a good tech stack will often be an expensive purchase for any company.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure you’re setting your purchases up to survive long-term.
Here’s how to make your tech last longer.
Choose the Right Investments
The first step in getting the most return on investment out of your technology is ensuring you’re buying the correct products in the first place.
Take your time to research what kind of products you need in your organization.
For instance, if you’re spending cash on endpoint security systems and mobile device monitoring, what kind of features will you need for true peace of mind?
Reading up on articles about some of the top products on the market or reading reviews from other customers can help you to make more informed choices.
It’s also worth thinking about what you may need in the future, rather than focusing exclusively on the functionality you need right now.
Just because you don’t need your security system to include services for mobile workers now, it doesn’t mean you won’t want to access that in the future.
Products and services that allow you to upgrade, expand, or add new features with time are great for future-proofing purposes.
Invest In Regular Maintenance
Almost every product you purchase in the technical age will work better with the correct care and maintenance.
Just as your HVAC system or car needs regular servicing, your tech innovations will need the correct attention too.
Aside from cleaning computers, smartphones, and other tools regularly, find out how often you need to schedule and perform maintenance activities.
For instance, some software solutions work best when you regularly scan their files and make sure nothing is corrupted, or outdated.
New patches and updates are important and they roll out for cloud software all the time. You should also be keeping track of the performance of any software and watching for signs that it’s slowing down or becoming less effective.
For hardware, remember to check the wiring and clear out dust getting into fans in your computer.
Certain devices in your business could potentially benefit from regular tune-ups from professionals who know their way around the machines.
If you’re nervous about fixing potential issues and dealing with maintenance on your own, find someone in your local community who can handle this process for you.
Create Usage Policies
If you want to protect your business against the costs and headaches of cyber-attacks, you need to provide your employees with policies that teach them how to stay safe.
Similarly, if you’re keen to keep your technology working perfectly for years to come, you should be advising your employees on how to use their technology safely.
For instance, if there are any activities that could damage your tech, make sure that your employees know what they are and how to avoid them.
For instance, if you’re investing in high-quality computers for your staff to use both around the office and at home, advise them on how to clean, protect, and maintain their systems.
Let them know that they should always keep their electronic products away from moisture and give your staff a set of guidelines that can help them to determine where to seek help if they have problems.
Also, encourage them to seek expert assistance when necessary.
If you know your team members have a habit of trying to figure out issues themselves before seeking guidance from a professional, give them instructions on when they should request assistance.
This can make it easier for independent employees to understand when it’s crucial to take a back seat and issue a support ticket.
Make the Most Of Tracking Technology
Finally, just as there are tech solutions to help with virtually every kind of business operation today, there are also tools that help you to maintain the performance of your investments.
Not every company has the time for constant manual check-ins to ensure that their software and hardware are working properly.
That’s why you can use software solutions to automatically track issues like potential failures or changes in tech performance.
Accessing the right tool-tracking software gives you a central environment where your IT teams and business leaders can monitor the use of your tools.
This environment also acts as a repository of information about when your devices and software need updates, and how often they’re experiencing downtime.
Being able to keep a close eye on how your team is using your technology, and how that tech is responding to regular interactions with staff can make a huge difference to your tech’s longevity.
You could even detect problems before they become catastrophic.
Protect Your Tech Investments
Technology is a valuable part of any business landscape today.
However, your tech tools can only perform at their best when you know how to take care of them.
Tracking performance metrics, investing in regular maintenance, ensuring you buy the right tech from day one, and implementing the right policies will all boost overall longevity.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and the ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters