The old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” doesn’t necessarily apply when it comes to managing Information Technology for your business. Even though your IT network may be working good enough today, at best you may be incurring opportunity costs by not making any changes. The following five low cost technology upgrades are often overlooked but have a proven high return on investment while making your life easier.

1. Solid State Drive (SSD)
Entry Cost: $50

Every business computer and laptop today should have an SSD.  Data transfer operations like boot-up, checking email, and running applications being so much faster and more reliable compared to the old style mechanical hard drives (that are still commonly being sold) put this simple upgrade at number one.

2. Monitor / Display
Entry Cost: $100

Hidden in plain sight, the display you stare at each and every day is one of the easiest and best IT upgrades available. Most users would never give up the productivity and usability of their crisp and bright new dual monitor 24″ displays, but personally I’ve fallen in love with my single 28″ Ultra HD 4K display.

3. Cloud Backup
Entry Cost: $2

Recovery from data loss due to malware, theft, or hardware failure has never been easier and cheaper than with today’s various business cloud backup services. It’s an ounce of prevention that provides much more than a pound of cure.

4. WiFi (802.11ac)
Entry Cost: $100

With the proliferation of mobile devices, a reliable and fast wireless network is crucial for business users’ productivity and focus. By replacing an old style (or non-existent) WiFi network with the latest technology, the resulting increase in speed, reliability, and coverage will deliver real value for years to come.

5. Voice over IP (VoIP)
Entry Cost: Free

By leveraging the ubiquity of cheap and fast Internet access, a modern VoIP business phone system is a reality for most any business today. Amazingly, there are now free entry level VoIP systems that your business can start using immediately to improve communications and save money.

Bonus Upgrade:
6. vCIO (virtual CIO)

Entry Cost: similar to Internet and Phone service

Contracting your IT support with the right trusted partner can cost-effectively fulfill the valuable CIO role in your company. While most business owners could do the planning and above upgrades themselves, there is a real opportunity cost of being distracted from what you do best or are most needed for (which is presumably not IT).

At Red Road Networks, we’ve been consistently providing the technical knowledge and leadership skills of a seasoned CIO for businesses like yours since 2004.