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Last Update: Monday June 21, 2021

Key Idea: Upgrade Every Three Years

Brian Jacobsen of Madison Park Greeting Cards budgets in advance for technology and recommends upgrades at an interval of at least every three years.

Key Question:


Budget to upgrade every three years because it is difficult to operate with hardware and software purchased more than three years ago. In terms of technology advances, this is a lifetime.

Q: how does a small business determine when it's time to upgrade?

A:  When your computers start operating slowly, affecting the productivity of your people, you can add memory and disk space and improve their performance. Still, there comes a time when the horse has to be put to pasture. The lives of your software applications can also be updated through minor and major revisions available under your license and maintenance agreements.

But like your hardware, there is a life cycle to your software and newer and better products will come available that will not function properly in an outdated operating system. If your systems are antiquated, determine what it will cost you to upgrade.

Think about it

How long will your current system meet your business needs?

Clip from: Protect Your Priceless Data - Understand Security

Meet Art Wong of Symantec, data security guru

Silicon Valley, Seattle, San Diego:  One of the biggest problems in small business today is that we under-estimate the value of our data and we have trouble believing anything can happen to those computers - until it does. And, it will. Issues that face each of us range from viruses to automated internet attacks to outright theft and natural disasters. The cost of these issues in lost information and lost time sometimes is the business itself. Most of us know we need to take a few steps to secure our data but simply do not know where to start.  This episode of the show is our 1-2-3. Please, have somebody in your business become an expert. If you are a sole proprietor, you'll just have to do it!

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Madison Park Greetings

Brian Jacobsen, CEO

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Upgrade Every Three Years

TRACY: We're kind of at that point of doing it again with the increase of sales and employees we need to expand our network a little bit. So we probably take a look at our hardware infrastructure every six months and re-analyze it and see where we can improve it.

BRIAN: There was a time when our server was pretty sick and I was quite worried about our data for a while there and we ended up upgrading our server and so when I could see that 100% backup complete it made me feel secure.

GLEN: He always enjoyed saying, "On this little tape I have all the essentials elements of our company right here."

HATTIE: When you said, "our server was sick," what gave you the signal that you thought it was sick?

BRAIN: Tracy was telling me it was sick. It was chugging and chugging. The hard drive was very very full and there were crashes happening often and rebooting. Tracy said you need to step up to a new server. We have actually added, I think we have three more servers.

GLEN: Over the last 3 years we made a lot of continually investment. We took a big leap three years ago and now we're looking at continually upgrading and probably taking a bigger leap.

BRIAN: You only notice it when it is not working. That's the key. We just like to have people to not be aware that there's a new server. As long as they're working and their stuff is getting through then they're OK.

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