When is it time to upgrade your tech?

By Adam Turner

Gadgets don't last forever, so when is the best time to trade up?

If your gadgets are productivity tools, which they really should be for business users, then the obvious time to upgrade is when they're holding you back and costing you time and money. If you waste 30 minutes each day fighting with an old computer that struggles to keep up, it's not hard to justify the expense of an upgrade. Of course, you should try a little CPR before you declare an old computer dead. Dropping in some extra RAM or simply defragging the hard drive could give it a new lease on life.

As a general rule of thumb, it's more trouble than it's worth to upgrade to a new version of Windows on your old computer - especially if it's a notebook. It's generally easier to simply wait until you buy your next computer with the latest OS pre-installed. Rather than depreciate it over several years, the Australian Tax Office now lets business write off many purchases up to $6500 in the first year, so it's worth talking to your accountant about the best time to make a purchase.

If you're thinking about upgrading your computer, read the fine print on your copy of Microsoft Office 2013. Unlike Office 2010, the new licensing conditions with Office 2013 won’t let you transfer a retail copy from your old computer to your new computer (although it's permitted if you have an Office 365 subscription). It might be cheaper and easier to get an OEM copy of Office pre-installed when you buy a new computer.

If you want to resell your old tech, like an old car, you'll obviously want to keep an eye on the resale value and not hang on to it for too long. As devices get cheaper and the pace of new technology steps up, you might find that your old devices are practically worthless after only a year or two, even though they're still up to the job. It might be more sensible to keep old tech as fall-back devices, redeploy them in the organisation or simply give them to someone as a hand-me-down.

If you don't need the latest and greatest devices, keep an eye out for last year's model going out cheap when a new model hits the shelves. Clearance sales are a great way to get more bang for your buck from your tech spend.

Are you ready for an upgrade? Share your tech nightmares with us below!


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