Holding on to old technology

It is common to work in companies that hold onto old technology. They think they are saving money by doing so, but they fail to consider the larger impact.

Yes this is the opposite of the post that the newest technology isn’t always the best.

Balance in technology is a hard goal. You want your systems to be new enough to be reliable, and you don’t want to spend money when you don’t need to. The tricky thing here is that you have to add up the other costs of holding onto technology and that is often the determining factor.

An example. Many companies hold onto printers until they are completely worthless. They repair them time after time, even though the repairs get more time consuming and expensive. There is a point where just bitting the bullet and buying a new printer is a better use of money. However many companies don’t do this because it introduces the need to manage the process. Some companies try to answer this by having their printers outsourced. That is, they have another company responsible for it. However this just introduces the false idea they don’t need to be managed. By outsourcing something like printing, you lose all the details of how things work and the employee experience becomes worse.

Printers are often difficult for companies. They get heavy use, but they rarely get preemptive maintenance. So when they break down from abuse, then people are surprised. It is very common for printers to not be adequate to the tasks they are being asked to perform. In this case, IT has failed to manage the process and everyone suffers.

I often see companies holding onto old/costly technology because they haven’t invested in enough IT workers or offer enough pay for a quality worker. It is surprising to me in interviews or talks with recruiters how they have a ceiling on what a position is worth. Carlos Slim says that when you make salary the most important, you automatically have the best workers disqualify themselves. I am not saying there isn’t a middle ground here, but rather than a one-size fits all approach does not work in recruiting.

I shared before that one company went with another candidate because he was a few hundred dollars cheaper than me. It turned out that the company had to go back and rehire someone else, because after 3 months and additional training, that person could not do the job. Doesn’t this seem a waste to you too?

Regular technology refreshes help keep everyone efficient and in a supported configuration. This ultimately saves time and money. I always seek this in any company I work with. Cars don’t last forever. Why do people think computer equipment will last forever?