Why you shouldn’t skimp on technology

Technology is an important part of life. Most of us need it to earn a living. Many businesses can’t function without technology. Money spent on hardware, software and services as an investment, not a cost.

My key lesson from 30 years writing about computers and technology is: Don’t cut corners.

It’s solid advice in every case; even more important when it comes to business technology. Always buy the best quality you can afford. Choose the best tools from the most dependable makers. Get the best software. Pick the best services from reliable providers.

Everyone knows quality pays off in the long-term. Yet many of us are more concerned about the immediate future. There are other bills to pay. There are competing demands on the same money. And funds are always limited.

Costly temptation

If you’re short of cash and drop your phone, or have a dead computer, the temptation to skimp may be strong. It may be unavoidable.

Believe me, I have been there. I’ve even given in to the temptation. More than once. Each time I lived to regret it.

That’s because buying quality pays off in the short term too.

Chances are, the first time you screw up a job because of a technology failure, the cost to you or your business will be more than the money saved by doing things on the cheap.

Say you lose a day’s work because of the technology failure. If you’re lucky you might just lose that day’s income. If you’re unlucky that lost day could mean a missed deadline. Which can make being paid for many days work a problem.

You can even lose a client and a long-term source of income. That client may go and tell everyone else how unreliable you are.

It’s the modern version of the story about the Kingdom that was lost for the want of a horseshoe nail.

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At first sight this advice might seem to contradict my earlier post: Adequate is good enough. There I argue you don’t always need to spend a fortune on the latest technology.

There’s no contradiction. Getting the best quality you can, is not the same as overpaying for specifications and features you don’t need.

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