IF YOU’RE scratching your head wondering when to upgrade, then consider these three factors:
The PC revolution is now more than 30 years old. Today’s applications have less opportunity for improvement than those of 20 years ago – newer versions have less ability to transform your business than they once did. The effect has been that businesses have slowed down the rate at which they adopt new application versions.
Companies look to stay within two versions of the current release – for Microsoft products, this means upgrading around every six years. By falling outside this rule you are more likely to have compatibility issues with new hardware, software or your clients’ systems – eliminating any cost savings from not upgrading.
Moore’s Law, a computing term from the 1970s, broadly states the processing power of computers doubles every two years. This law remains true today, however, the improvements are being used to drive Cloud services rather than transform your local PC. The effect of this change is that hardware upgrades are being pushed out to four or five years with the replacement decision being based on reliability rather than performance.
Installing new applications creates significant business disruption beyond re-training. You will be required to devote a significant amount of your team’s time to configuring the system and/or your processes to work together – this cannot be delegated to a consulting company.
So what should you do?
Firstly, don’t upgrade just because Microsoft says to. Choose an application suite that will serve your business for the next six years. Hardware replacement will be required during the six years, but this will have a low impact on your team. In the Microsoft product suite, the most common platform is Windows 7 / Office 2010. We expect firms to start implementing Windows 10 / Office 2016 in Q1 2016. If you can hold off, we recommend implementing this combination starting in Q2 2016.