Integrating New Hardware Solutions Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

portrait of technician install a new hardware a part of personal computer in office roo

Your business might find itself in a position where it needs new hardware solutions. You must make educated decisions about which hardware to acquire and when, but unless you are a tech guru, you probably need a hand figuring out how to get the most value.

That’s where we come in.

Here are some of the challenges that your business might face when implementing new hardware solutions.

Before getting too far, however, it’s helpful to have an idea of what not to do when replacing your technology. Many businesses will fall into the category of break-fix, meaning that they only replace technology when it has already broken down, often beyond repair entirely. Imagine the downtime that this practice can cause for businesses and the amount of money wasted on it. It’s a serious problem.

To illustrate this severity, consider a server unit that might fail before you replace it. How is everyone accessing the data found on this server? If your workstation breaks down, that’s one thing, but if the device used for business-wide data transmission breaks down, your entire business could be stuck in the mud until the issue is resolved. Meanwhile, you are wasting both time and money figuring out how to resolve the issue when preventative maintenance could have prevented all of this.

First, you must ask yourself, “Should I consider new hardware solutions in the first place?” Sometimes you might upgrade even if you don’t need to, simply because there is a more up-to-date model for a particular device that you have your eye on. Chances are that there is no need to upgrade immediately, especially if your current systems work perfectly fine. You should only consider upgrading away from your current systems when your technology is either causing disruptions to operations or if failing to upgrade will cause problems for you in the near future.

The second question you must ask is “What will I use this hardware for?” For example, if you try giving your video editor a thin unit or a standard office workstation, they are not going to have a good time going about their day-to-day tasks–tasks that are graphic-intensive and require more powerful machines. The idea here is to know what the technology is going to be used for before you implement it. Having unrealistic expectations for how your employees will use the technology is not going to help anyone.

Finally, you must also ask, “What is the timeline for replacing this hardware?” Remember that it is incredibly important to have a technology roadmap that lays out the timeline for when and how you should implement new hardware and other technology solutions for your business. This might include regular hardware refreshes to avoid the risks of hardware failure. At first glance, it might seem like you are replacing technology prematurely, but the difference here is that these are planned occurrences rather than purchases that come out of necessity.

Ultimately, the best way to implement new hardware solutions is to work with a professional like one of our trusted technicians. We can help you stay on the right path when implementing new technology. To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

3 Reasons Why Open-Source Software Can Be Problematic

programmer working lady using computer laptop working on unlock lock with coding symbol.

Every business uses some form of software, whether it’s for word processing or detecting malware. When you add up the costs for programs to open and edit PDFs, perform basic accounting, and create images, it’s tempting to see what’s available through open-source channels.

Although finding open-source software will inevitably cut down on your business’s costs, it is intrinsically problematic, and we’ll show you three reasons why you should avoid it when you can.

What is Open-Source Software?

Open-source software (OSS) is a type of software that is provided to the general public along with its source code. That means programmers can take that code and alter it to suit their needs or fix it up over time. This software also comes with rules about how to control its distribution. Needless to say, most big-name software companies would never do this.

How Does Open-Source Software Work?

Open-source software works by being stored in a public place, often on websites, where the product can be viewed and distributed. Anyone can download the software and use the code or offer suggested changes to it.

Furthermore, OSS comes with a license agreement that details how people can use, alter, and distribute the software. When the OSS code is changed, the alterations and methods used to make those changes have to be detailed in the documentation, and some changes in functionality may not be available to all users free of charge. They’ll become a premium service.

Problems with Open-Source Software

Although it may be tempting to completely outfit a business with OSS, that might not be a wise decision. Take a look at three problems inherent in using open-source software.

Licensing Issues

The legal uncertainty surrounding open-source licenses poses a real threat to small businesses. When using OSS, there is no way for most people to know if the software has code that was copied from another company. If your business was ever caught using legally protected code without permission, the legal consequences could be dire, to say the least. It would certainly cost more than a yearly license renewal.

Vulnerabilities Are Made Public

The year 2021 might go down in history as being one of the worst for ransomware and hacking. More people are figuring out how to exploit vulnerabilities in systems and get away with it.

You may have already figured out the problem with OSS and security: the code is available to everyone, including hackers. These vulnerabilities are made public all the time, and it only takes a savvy person to figure out how to exploit the system and become a threat.

Not Knowing Your Sources

How do you know whether to trust an OSS? The truth is that trust for an OSS comes from a majority opinion of users and developers, and it is built over time. Yet, new open-source programs are being released all the time.

Imagine that you need an accounting program, and you choose to download the first OSS version you find, but it doesn’t have a positive consensus from users and reviewers.  You’ve just put yourself and your business at risk because you do not know the source of the code.

It could be stolen code, a malware trap, or trouble of another sort.

Not all OSS is bad, but there are some bad ones out there, and you need the confidence to say you can tell the difference.

Open-source software is highly customizable but often not as well polished as software from major companies. To avoid the risks associated with OSS, it’s often better to pay for a licensing fee and get the ongoing security and trust that comes from working with an established company.

WheelHouse IT is a gold-level Microsoft partner who can help you get the most out of your software.
Learn more at our Microsoft page or contact us so we can help evaluate your needs and point you in the right direction.

When is it Time to Upgrade Your Technology?

Finger touching tablet with web technology icons and UPGRADE inscription, web technology concept

It can be difficult to know when to upgrade your technology in today’s ever-changing business technology landscape, especially when there are so many options available. How do you avoid getting caught up in the excitement of every new thing? It starts with knowing where your organization is and whether you need to change.

Where Are You Right Now?

Let’s say you want to upgrade your workstation to a newer model with more powerful components. Consider what this might entail and whether the upgrade will make an impact on your day-to-day tasks. Perhaps upgrading your graphics card will help you be a more effective graphic designer, or more RAM might mean you can multitask more often. These are great, but in specific contexts, your average sales representative, for example, doesn’t need a video editing rig.

Your Operations Are Suffering

The major telltale sign that your organization should upgrade its technology is that operations are suffering in a significant way. Let’s say that you have your entire staff accessing the same network infrastructure from an antiquated server unit. The workstations themselves are working quite well, but the server unit is outdated and runs at a sluggish pace. This impacts not just one or two employees but your entire workforce. In situations like this, you absolutely do want to upgrade when possible.

Your Operations Will Suffer in the Near Future

The other situation when you might consider upgrading your technology is if your operations will be impacted sooner rather than later. A perfect example of this is when your operating system is about to reach its end of life and will no longer be supported by patches and security updates. You want to take care of this before you experience issues related to this lack of updates rather than after the fact.

In other words, it’s all about being proactive with your upgrades but not being impulsive with them. If you have trouble with this concept, don’t worry—we’ve got your back!

If you need help when it comes time to upgrade your technology, WheelHouse IT can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (877) 771-2384.