When it comes to IT upgrades, the catastrophic TalkTalk hacking incident in 2015, the global cyber-attack on the NHS in 2017, and several more recent and well publicised ransomware attacks on big name suppliers in this industry, have probably done more to drive investment in hardware than any amount of positive PR messaging from Business Micros could ever have done.

And that is before you even take into account the technology requirements now being imposed on businesses by the new Making Tax Digital regime.

The fact is that we have spent years trying to persuade customers of the benefits of increasing their investment in hardware to match their investments in software, so that they can eliminate costly and avoidable downtime, but sometimes we have had fairly mixed results.  When an old laptop or PC finally dies or outdated devices fail because they can no longer cope with the latest software upgrades, the knock on effects in terms of production and customer service can obviously be massive, but some companies simply overestimate the lifespan of their existing equipment and don’t set aside sufficient budget for regular renewal.

However, now that the threat of cyber-crime has become a real and present danger for many, we are noticing that ageing hardware is finally coming under increasing scrutiny from companies focusing on areas of vulnerability within their businesses. That is finally having a positive and very welcome effect on investment and in turn on the overall stability of their IT infrastructure.

After 40 years in this industry, Business Micros really has seen it all when it comes to IT set ups, and we will always do our utmost to help customers keep even the most creaky systems operational and stable. But, the reality remains that companies who make a conscious decision to increase their investment in hardware as well as software are giving themselves a real competitive advantage – and not just in terms of protecting themselves from cyber-crime.

What they are doing is eliminating the downtime from hardware failure which causes such massive disruption to production if batches can’t be sent to machines and to customer service if quotes can’t be processed and sent to customers.

Customers choose Business Micros software because it provides them with efficiency and time-saving solutions, so it makes no sense at all to compromise that efficiency by running the software on hardware which is simply not up to the job.

Our advice then is to take a longer term view and always to budget adequately for hardware and software together, with the view that this is as an investment and not a cost. There are a number of very good hardware providers operating in this industry who provide excellent service at an affordable price and Business Micros of course gives customers the opportunity to spread their software costs over an extended period.

Building strong and lasting relationships with your IT suppliers benefits both parties. Customers can easily and cost effectively add any products and services they need to their package if they have budgeted in advance and of course that means they can eliminate any risk, while spreading the cost.