Things just don’t last like they used to. The short life span of many of today’s big ticket items will, without fail, make me count back the years and then wonder how in the world a 5 year old refrigerator could possibly be failing. Aren’t they supposed to last twice that long? After all, my grandparents have the same oven they had when I was growing up. They just replaced a TV that dated back to my mother’s hi-school days. And, they still have the same microwave I heated soup up in when I was barely tall enough to reach the buttons. In my own home, I’ve replaced 2 microwaves in the last 6 years and I am fairly certain my much newer stove has designs to set my kitchen on fire.
While I was shocked when my grandparents called me for help picking out a new TV ( I just figured the old one would out live me), I was even more surprised when I realized that they are still using a computer that is probably close to 10 years old. So how can I expect a washer and dryer set to last for 15 or 20 years but not be surprised when my 3 ½ year old laptop stops powering on?
While outdated technology may not be a big deal for my grandparents, in the business world, that 10 year old computer would be a much more pressing concern. Not just because a slow system running a point-of-sale solution holds up checkout lines and wastes your time, but because the world of software is moving so quickly that there is just no way for a computer that I buy today to keep up with the demands that will be placed on it in 4-5 years. Don’t believe me? Take a moment to think about it. At the end of the day, a refrigerator still keeps things cold. Sure, you can buy one with a touch screen interface to your icemaker, but its basic function is the same as it was 20 years ago. Compare that with how you used computers 20 years ago. We’ve gone from huge boxes and slow as molasses dial up internet, all the way to instant access with technology that fits in the palm of your hand. My tablet is faster in every way than my computer was just 5 years ago. Every day, the way we utilize technology is changing.
At Retail Management Solutions (RMS), we feel that it is extremely important to keep your POS hardware up to date in order to leverage POS technology to benefit your business. Operating systems become non-compliant, processing speeds become inadequate, and the demand of constant use will eventually take its toll on even the best systems. A system you bought 3 years ago may not seem that old, but if you line it up next to today’s technology, it’s likely to seem antiquated. Likewise, peripheral hardware technology can take great leaps and bounds in just a few short years. Compliance laws change payment processing equipment and state regulations produce the need for enhanced scanning capabilities. For these reasons many state organizations and institutions run on a 3 year technology cycle. Instead of waiting for a system to go down, they simply replace it as it becomes outdated, allowing them to avoid the inherent risks of unrecoverable data if the system were to fail and saving the time they would otherwise spend supporting an obsolete system.
We know that the functionality of your POS system is vital to the success of your business. So next time your computer takes a bit longer than usual to start up, or you wonder if maybe there’s a new tool that can increase your efficiency, give RMS a call and start thinking about a technology cycle of your own. For our part, we’ll do our best to keep your system running at peak efficiency and we’ll always let you know if it’s time to start thinking about an upgrade.