alt tag

Productivity Posts


Screen Mirroring Mini-Guide

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Setting up your conference room for wireless screen mirroring is the answer to employees sharing in a collective groan when it’s time to connect a computer or mobile device to show a presentation. While setting up the conference room television or projector doesn’t have the same level of disdain as the office printer, it can still be a major source of frustration when half of your staff is in the conference room waiting for the technology to cooperate.

Screen mirroring allows any presenter, even a guest, to take a BYOD approach to giving a presentation with minimal effort. Not having to fiddle around with running cables and sorting through a “junk drawer” collection of video converters not only saves time but also increases productivity.

What is Screen Mirroring?

Screen mirroring, or screen casting, is when you duplicate the content on a computer or smart device on either a television screen or projector. In the past, someone would connect a computer to a TV or a projector through a cable which the device would treat just like a monitor. However, screen mirroring is different because it replicates the content on the device’s screen instead of treating the presentation device as a second screen. Modern smart devices and computers support screen mirroring, but the main problem arises when trying to find a setup that will support all of the common standards.

The Platforms:

  • Windows & Android Devices
    • While Windows and Android devices aren’t running software from the same companies, if a screen mirroring device supports one it more than likely supports the other. If your office has a smart TV or a smart projector, it might support screen mirroring out of the box for Windows and Android devices. However, if the TV or projector doesn’t have smart functionality, you can add support with a relatively inexpensive streaming device like MiracastRoku or WiDi adapters.
  • Mac Computers & iOS Devices
    • Supporting screen mirroring is very straight-forward, but there’s only one headache-free way to ensure support: connect an Apple TV device to the TV or projector. We’ve previously discussed setting up AirPlay through Apple TV. If you’re not going to use Apple TV, you’re stuck relying on finding a third-party receiver or app that supports AirPlay or messing with network settings every time you want to connect a device.

Device Checklist for Full Support

What your business should do is create a checklist for each of the four main device types and run a test of each to ensure compatibility. First, see which device types you can connect with your existing configuration. Next, determine which additional devices you’ll need to purchase for full support. An example setup could be a Samsung Smart TV paired with Apple TV or a standard LG TV with a Roku and Apple TV.

Streamlining your conference room screen mirroring setup is just one way the IT consulting experts at MPA Networks can help your business increase productivity. Contact us today!

The System Is Down: How To Stay Online When Your Service Provider Is Offline

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

It’s easy to take a functional Internet connection for granted until it’s no longer working. When that Internet connection inevitably goes down, your business could be left scrambling to figure out how to keep working until service is restored. The best solution your business can utilize is to develop an advance plan for business continuity in the event of an Internet outage.

Purchase a Secondary Service

The safest and most reliable strategy your business can rely upon to work around Internet outages is to purchase a secondary Internet service. This service doesn’t need to be as high-speed as your main connection and it should be viewed as a safety net. The transition process can be as straight-forward as switching which modem connects to the office router.

Additionally, your business should invest in a different backup connection technology than your main connection; if your main connection comes from cable, try considering a DSL or T-line. If your business runs on a fiber service, your secondary platform can be from a cable provider. However, the secondary provider option may not be the most cost-effective solution for businesses with fewer than two-dozen employees.

Go Mobile (Internet)

Mobile Internet connections are another viable continuity option for smaller businesses: a tethered smartphone or mobile hotspot can work as a backup. The mobile option works well for smaller businesses and remote-employees. After all, mobile connections aren’t as fast and can lead to substantial data charges for businesses moving large amounts of data, so it’s not a good option if your business needs to move large files. Your corporation can also look outside of the cellular service providers for dedicated 3G/4G/LTE-based ISPs as an alternative secondary service option.

Nearby ISP Hotspots

If your company works out of a large office building with many nearby businesses you may be able to lean on your neighbors for some extra backup. Some ISPs offer Wi-Fi hotspots over all their rented modems. Then, if your business is on Verizon DSL and experiences an outage, you can use your home subscription to connect to a nearby Xfinity hotspot.

Hit the Street

If your employees need to get back online to handle immediate work, your company’s last line of defense is to lean on public Wi-Fi. You can find these hotspots at local libraries, cafés, coffee shops, and other storefronts. However, this comes with some major potential security risks; your employees shouldn’t come to rely on it with extremely confidential information.

One such risk is that it’s very common for hackers to set up “spoof” hotspots that resemble business hotspots, but are actually designed to steal your information. In other words, you have to make sure local hotspots are legitimate before using them. Keep a list of nearby secure Wi-Fi hotspots your employees can use in the event of an Internet outage. It’s of the utmost importance that this list is devised in advance because there are inherent risks in using another business’s Internet connection.

Never let an Internet outage keep your company from working: formulate an advanced backup plan so that your vital staff can keep working. If your company is looking for help developing an outage plan, the IT consulting experts at MPA Networks can help. Contact us today!

3 Lessons SMBs Can Learn From Retailers On Thanksgiving Weekend

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Online retailers are already working on business strategies for the Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday online shopping weekend months in advance. These three days are the busiest online shopping days for retailers, bringing in nearly $6 billion in revenue combined. An online retailer’s worst nightmare on these days, in particular, is to lose business by overloading their platforms and losing customers because of long load times or crashes. SMBs can look at how retailers prepare and manage massive traffic influxes for insight into running a better online presence.

1. Do not launch a new service or platform when you expect to be busy

A robust testing and QA process is a business’s best tool to releasing features like a website update, a new software implementation, or a new hardware system as seamlessly as possible. However, some problems don’t reveal themselves until your business has pushed changes into the wild; in other words, your business doesn’t want to introduce new features that could expose problems at a busy time.

Therefore, it’s better to go with a “soft launch” for new implementations than try to run a high-traffic promotion to show off something new. Introduce new features and sweeping changes at a time when your company expects business to be slow.

2. Sometimes “bells and whistles” need to be dropped to stop from damaging functions

People tend to love “bells and whistles” features because they can take a boring product and turn it into an exciting experience. The more improved visual experience is great until it becomes detrimental to the performance. For example, retailers like Amazon will actually disable some of the rich content features on their product pages over the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, which simultaneously reduces the amount of work the servers complete when generating pages. This allows customers to load pages with minimal delay.

Retailers have to keep in mind the “user experience,” which includes the process of using a service as opposed to focusing on how it looks. SMBs can take this philosophy to heart when approaching technology: provide the best “form” as possible as long as it doesn’t impede “functionality.” A visually striking product preview page won’t do your business any good if customers refuse to sit through a long load time.

3. Don’t be a victim of your own success

Website overloads on Cyber Monday are a particularly great example of how a business can become a victim of its own success, which SMBs should keep in mind when running promotions. Unless a website’s hosting infrastructure is built with scaling potential or uses a CDN, a huge traffic spike can bring the site offline which translates to lost potential business and a negative brand impression.

Retailers typically use performance testing and monitoring strategies to prepare their platforms for massive traffic influxes. SMBs should keep a “ready-to-grow” philosophy in mind concerning their web presence because opportunity can strike at any time. Bracing for traffic spikes is particularly important when running social media promotion campaigns: if your business goes viral, you don’t want to miss out because your website is overloaded.

Whether your business is looking for opportunities to keep up with growth in cloud computing or seeing if new software would increase productivity, the IT consulting experts at MPA Networks are ready to help. Contact us today!

When Windows 10 Support Stops

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

In July of 2017, some Windows 10 users received an error message when trying to install the Creators Update, stating, “Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC.” This first-of-its-kind problem stems from an incompatibility with a handful of Intel’s Clover Trail CPUs found in some of the earliest laptop, tablet, and 2-in-1 devices that shipped with Windows 8.1. While the issue affects a relatively small number of devices, it stands as a reminder that aging devices may not always be able to support the latest Windows 10 feature updates. The issue won’t create a security headache for users, but it could block new features your employees would otherwise use in order to increase productivity.

macbook-606763_1920

There’s No Windows 11

Up until now, PC users have generally expected that devices working with a given version of Windows will continue to work on that version indefinitely; replacement time comes when the device can no longer run a newer Windows iteration. However, Windows 10 changes that because there won’t be a Windows 11; instead, Microsoft will continue to update Windows 10. Therefore, the system requirements for Windows 10 can’t be expected to stay the same as Microsoft updates the operating system so that devices running on today’s most recent version of Windows may not run all of Windows 10’s future features.

The Case of the Clover Trail Atom CPU:

As of July 2017, the Creators Update compatibility issue only affects the Atom Z2760, Z2520, Z2560, and Z2580 CPU models. As previously stated these CPUs belong to the Clover Trail family which was first released in Q3 2013. The issue has less to do with the processing power of the device and more to do with a compatibility problem with the CPU’s hardware drivers being incompatible with features in the Creators Update.

Windows 10 Support: Problems Down the Road

Hypothetically speaking, there are a number of issues that Windows 10 feature updates could add to the operating system that will render older devices incompatible or unable to run at a smooth speed. Lower-end devices that run inexpensive and weaker hardware are the most prone to being unable to support future updates. Some possible compatibility issues could include:

  • Insufficient RAM
  • Unsupported hardware drivers
  • CPU too slow
  • Not enough storage

What Next?

The good news here is that the devices are still compatible with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which will continue to receive security updates throughout the original Windows 8.1 device lifetime support window. The devices will still receive security updates, making it safe to continue using the devices. This isn’t like running a Windows XP computer on the modern Internet; if the device user doesn’t need the new Windows 10 features from the update, this really isn’t a big deal. However, after 2023, affected devices should be replaced.

Make sure your company’s computers and other devices are secure and able to perform to their highest ability. The IT consulting experts at MPA Networks are ready to help in San Mateo County and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to keep your hardware and software up-to-date. Contact us today!

Avoiding Hardware Overkill: IT Consulting to the Rescue

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Spending far too much money on excessively overpowered computer hardware can quickly deplete your company’s IT budget, taking funding away from other important expenses. Two exciting products released in June 2017, Apple’s new iMac Pro ($4999) and Intel’s Core i9 CPU family (starting at $999), are poised to put an incredible amount of computer power in reach of professional-level users with a matching high price tag. However tantalizing these new devices seem, they are power overkill for employees outside of niche roles. IT consulting services can help with matching device power to employee usage to increase productivity.

cyber-2377718_1920

“Pro” is More than Marketing

While “pro” and “high-end” products are inherently better devices based on power, they are niche products targeted to specifically high-end users. In many cases, they’re less like a better interior package or more powerful engine for a sedan and more like a different class of vehicle like a fully-loaded pickup truck.

A power overload is an unnecessary expense, but it’s still preferable to err on the side of more power than what is needed than wasting money on underpowered devices that hurt productivity. In the case of the iMac Pro and the Intel Core i9, the higher-end base iMac and the Core i7 are the devices suited for most high power users.

“Pro” is only Better if you Need it

A Core i9 won’t offer much of a difference in performance for the average user running word processing and web browsers over a three-year-old Core i5. Other parts of the computer are much slower, like the hard drive and the Internet connection, which create a performance bottleneck. The faster CPU won’t do a thing to alleviate these problems.

More Power Delays Obsolescence with Diminishing Returns

A computer is obsolete when it no longer supports the software employees need and hinders productivity through poor performance, and not because there’s a faster model on the shelf. It’s common to delay obsolescence for as long as possible by spending as much money as the budget allows to get the most powerful hardware; unfortunately, the law of diminishing returns hits hard.

Enough Power to Last the Replacement Cycle

The big question is, “how much hardware power do computers need for employees in specific roles?” The device needs to offer sufficient capabilities to last the user through the next replacement, which is a question for IT consulting. Needs vary wildly between roles:

  • A minimal-needs salesperson who mostly uses email and PowerPoint could get away with a lower-powered laptop with a longer battery life.
  • A power-user video editor needs lots of CPU power and a capable GPU for smooth work and fast video processing.
  • A mid-to-power-level accountant who works in massive spreadsheets needs lots of system memory, but won’t see any benefit from a beefier GPU.

According to a PC World article, the average computer replacement cycle has shifted from a three-to-four year interval to a five-to-six year interval. The Core i9 and iMac Pro devices are both designed to meet the needs of employees who work with graphic design, video editing, financial modeling, and programming through the longer replacement cycle.

The IT consulting experts at MPA Networks are ready to help your company determine the ideal computers and devices for your office needs. Expert desktop and workstation management services can keep those devices running in top form so that your company can get the most out of its technology investment. Contact us today!

Spare Computer Parts: Which Ones To Keep For Disaster Recovery

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

computer-2049019_640

It happens in every office eventually: an employee is going about their workday and suddenly their computer or monitor won’t turn on. Fortunately, there’s gold in those unused desktops and laptops stuck in the storage closet. Aside from the computers having literal gold in some components, your business can reuse spare, compatible parts from storage as a quick disaster recovery fix. With a little know-how of modular computer parts, a quick swapping can get your staff back to work right away.

Plan Ahead for Reusing Computer Parts

The replacement part storage strategy is particularly helpful for businesses that replace devices on an as-needed or staggered basis as opposed to all at once. Do not spend money on parts you may or may not need in advance: instead, take from computers that are no longer in use. If a laptop’s motherboard fails, its SSD can be used to fix another device with a broken storage device and the RAM can be used to upgrade another laptop.

Your IT staff will need to know which parts to keep around, how many of those parts to keep, and how long to keep them around for. The average computer replacement cycle has grown to five-to-six years, which created a longer part compatibility time frame. If a device breaks after four years, its working parts can help fix other devices for at least another two years. Realistically, your IT staff should only keep two or three of each replacement part on hand to manage repairs. After all, this is a disaster recovery strategy, not a repair shop.

Computer Parts to Keep

  • Hard Disk Drives and Solid State Drives: Both laptops and desktops can use replacement storage devices to restore failing ones or increase total storage space. Storage device failure rates can be fairly high in comparison to the rest of the system. Remember to properly dispose of unused storage devices to avoid data theft.
  • RAM: Keeping a few RAM modules on hand works well for replacing broken parts and upgrading aging computers. However, these parts come in laptop and desktop variations and lose compatibility across generations.
  • Laptop Batteries: Battery storage capacity degrades through subsequent charges, so if your business has several laptops of the same model, keep the batteries from the first few that fail in order to replace batteries for the working ones down the line.
  • Power Supply Unit: Keep one or two desktop power supply units in storage to replace failing ones. These devices usually have limited compatibility issues, except with high-performance machines.
  • Video Card: Desktop video cards tend to produce substantial heat and are consequently prone to failure. While swapping one may require a bit of legwork to adjust the drivers, it is much faster than ordering a replacement.
  • Cables: Since cables bend, they may wear down over time. Hold on to a few extra SATA, USB, and Lightning cables to avoid having to buy new ones. For proper storage, tie up all cables.
  • Peripherals: While these devices tend to last a long time, they seem to break at random. Keep a handful of spare keyboards, mice, and monitors around just in case.

Any parts your business doesn’t intend to keep should be recycled or otherwise properly disposed of. If your business is looking to improve its strategies with disaster recovery and desktop managementcontact the experts at MPA Networks today!

79% of Businesses Were Hacked in 2016. Was Yours One of Them?

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

broken-business-2237920_640

Getting caught off-guard in a cyber security attack is a disaster for any business, large or small—and the frequency of attacks is only getting worse.

According to the CyberEdge 2017 Cyberthreat Defense Report, hackers successfully compromised security at least once for 79.2 percent of businesses over the last 12 months.

These figures may be alarming, but keep in mind that all businesses can (and should) be taking proactive steps to prevent attacks, and to make a quick recovery from any breaches. Here’s how you can protect yourself, with help from a Managed Service Provider.

Increase in data breaches

Even if your business has not been attacked in the past year, the odds of staying under the radar aren’t in your favor. In 2016, businesses experienced a 40 percent increase in data breaches over 2015. The situation is especially bad for smaller businesses: 60 percent of small companies that suffer a major cyber attack go under within six months.

Less severe incidents are more common, but businesses are typically ill-prepared for them. A staggering 63 percent of small business owners report their websites have come under attack by hackers or spammers; of those attacked, 79 percent say they have no plan for what to do if it happens again. Most businesses find that mobile devices and social media services are the weakest links in their online security.

Protective Measures against Cyber Attack

The best protective measures against digital security threats are to secure networks, websites, applications, and social media platforms, and to implement a reliable backup system. The following tips provide a baseline to help your business minimize its security risks:

  • Use unique, secure passwords for all accounts including internal services, external services, email, and connected social media to prevent data breaches.
  • Activate “2-Step Verification” for applicable services.
  • Use Secure HTTP for websites and applications that pass personal information.
  • Take advantage of desktop management services; make sure computers are running up-to-date software to minimize exposure to known security holes.
  • Keep antivirus and anti-malware software updated; run scans on a frequent basis to protect from malware infections.
  • Program internally developed services to prevent SQL injection.
  • Secure the Wi-Fi/Internet and manage employee credentials.
  • Secure mobile devices, tablets, and laptops so they can be disabled if lost or stolen.

In Case of Emergency: Disaster Recovery

Ransomware is major concern for businesses these days: 61 percent of businesses say they were compromised at least once by malware demanding payment to return data. Unfortunately, some companies that decide to pay the ransom still don’t get their data back. The best thing your company can do to protect itself from ransomware is to limit the amount of damage an attack can do through backup and disaster recovery. Using the “3-2-1 backup rule” and running frequent backups can be the difference between losing all of your data permanently, and losing a single day’s work.

Digital security should never take a break. If your business is looking to build a better defense against cyber threats, the experts at MPA Networks can help with both desktop and server management. Contact us today to learn more.

Amazon Alexa in the Workplace: What Could You Do With a Virtual Assistant?

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

communicate-2028004_640

Amazon Alexa, the voice-based intelligent personal assistant you may have seen an early adopter friend use at home, has surprising business use potential to increase productivity in the workplace. Like Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana, Alexa is able to perform tasks for the user via voice commands. However, Alexa’s decentralized nature makes the system well-adapted for shared use in the workplace.

Amazon Alexa Increases Workplace Productivity

The virtual assistant is especially helpful at keeping employees focused on their primary tasks by simplifying interruptions—from adjusting a meeting time to looking up an address—into a simple voice request. In short, Alexa is a powerful tool for automating and streamlining common work procedures.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo is a hands-free, smart speaker that serves as a gateway interface to the Alexa Voice Service. Echo is the most practical way to use the assistant, featuring a different style of interactivity compared with similar services (which are primarily run on phones and tablets). For those who prefer a device-based option, Alexa also runs on Amazon Fire tablets.

As of January 2017, Amazon has sold over eight million Echo units.

Alexa Simplifies Workplace Tasks

Alexa is very good at automating and simplifying mundane, simple tasks in the workplace. While the real power lies in programming Alexa to perform unique tasks, the assistant is already powerful out of the box. For example, businesses can put an Echo at the conference table during meetings and ask it questions that come up instead of opening a phone or computer and performing a Google search. Alexa is also helpful for tasks like announcing the weather forecast, adjusting background music, and controlling smart lights—all through voice commands.

For more advanced users, Alexa is compatible with Microsoft’s Office365 and can be put to work on tasks like calendar collaboration. Requesting a day off or adjusting meeting times is as simple as asking Alexa. Some businesses may find the assistant helpful for streamlining office supply orders; Alexa allows employees to add items to a shopping wish list. (Gone are the days of endless email chains and formal paper requests.) If someone discovers that paper towels are running out in the break room, or the stock closet is low on staples, they can say “Alexa, add X to my shopping wish list.”

Alexa’s Custom Programming

Good ideas don’t always come at the right time. Imagine one of your staff members thinks up a great idea for an upcoming project while they are working on a more urgent one. Writing down or recording those ideas while trying to stay focused on the task at hand can be difficult and disruptive. With custom programming, that employee could tell Alexa to attach a note to the upcoming project and then get back to work. Alexa’s custom-programmed “skills” can work as standalone features or be integrated with existing applications and services to serve your business’s unique needs.

Back in the conference room, Alexa could be used on the fly to gather custom analytics like “what was our total profit last week” or “how many products did we ship in February and March” for fast responses. Programming is pretty straightforward, but the downside is that Alexa needs to recognize a range of specific phrases to work correctly.

If your company is looking into new ways to increase productivity with new technology, the IT consulting experts at MPA Networks, serving businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and nationwide, are ready to help. Contact us today.

Intranets and Small-To-Medium Business Productivity

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

finger-769300_640

Many small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) have taken to hosting their own intranet to increase productivity in the workplace. For those unfamiliar with the term, “intranet” is not a typo, but rather an internal network that behaves like a private Internet. At their core, intranets help businesses improve communication, boost collaboration, and organize important information in an secure, easy-to-access location.

Intranets are considered an inexpensive solution for providing streamlined access to information and services.

Ways to Use an Intranet

A versatile tool with no specific use, an intranet can be adapted to the jobs it needs to perform. Think of it less like a 10mm socket wrench, and more like a Swiss Army Knife.

An intranet often serves as a hub where businesses can: 

More advanced intranets can host complex applications like ticketing systems, customer relationship management systems, payroll management, time clock services, and benefits enrollment.

Designing Your Intranet

According to the Worcester Business Journal, businesses should determine who will be using the intranet, what purposes the intranet will serve, and what the security needs of the system are at the beginning of the design process. From there, your business should look at all necessary applications and hardware for the platform.

Security needs can vary greatly between intranet implementations: An outward-facing intranet that holds confidential information and can be accessed online will need a login system, data encryption, and user privilege controls. On the other hand, an intranet that is used exclusively for internal reference, and is only accessible in the office, won’t require much protection beyond a Wi-Fi password.

How to Test Drive an Intranet

Your business may not want to start big with an intranet and all its accoutrements. In this case, it’s possible to test drive the concept at low cost by building an internal reference website accessible only from your in-building network. Your business can re-purpose a recently replaced or unused desktop computer to act as a makeshift server for the site.

Install the free web server software Apache on the computer, and host a website. Your company can start with hosting basic HTML pages that have links to all the important documents, policies, and contacts employees need to access, and then move on to a more robust content management system like CMS Made Simple or WordPress. Employees can access the internal site through the web browser of any computer connected to the office network.

The experts at MPA Networks, in the San Francisco Bay Area, can help your business maintain and secure your intranet and network via our IT managed services. As your intranet grows, so may your server management needs. Contact us today to learn how MPA Networks can help your business increase productivity and improve IT security.

The Cost of Memory: Trends to Impact Your Upgrade Cycle

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

memory-1761599_640

Computer memory market trends could play a role in your business’s decision on when to upgrade or replace employee computers. According to PC World, the technology research experts at Gartner predict that prices for both RAM and Solid State Drives (SSDs) will start to decline in 2018—and then crash in 2019.

Unlike the typical technology price trends that drop as devices age, memory components have more volatile prices that rise and fall for the same productsIT consulting services can help your business take advantage of trends to replace or upgrade devices when the market bottoms out.

What Memory Means for Productivity

Computer RAM and storage devices like SSDs increase productivity by making computers complete tasks in as little time as possible. Having more of either than the user actually needs won’t make them more productive, but having too little can dramatically slow the work process.

  1. RAM: The computer’s main memory determines how many active applications the device can run simultaneously. When there’s enough memory, the user can quickly switch between programs with minimal load time. If the computer is low on memory, it will have to use the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or SSD to augment the main memory, which limits the number of active applications and increases the time it takes to switch between them.
  2. SSD: SSDs offer significantly faster performance than HDDs. A computer running an SSD will boot faster and load programs much more quickly than one with an HDD. The major barrier of entry for SSDs to replace HDDs is the cost-per-gigabyte of storage, with SSDs of similar capacity costing up to four times as much.

Taking Advantage of Memory Pricing: Upgrading Old and Buying New

There are two main ways your business can take advantage of the forecasted memory price drops:

  1. Plan your upgrade cycle to coincide with the 2019 price drops.
  2. Plan to upgrade existing system RAM and SSD storage in 2019 to extend device lifespan.

Hypothetically speaking, if a small business has 12 computers coming in to an upgrade cycle in 2018 that are still performing adequately, it is probably worth waiting to see how memory prices fluctuate in 2019. If the SSD and RAM prices drop as expected, your business will get much better devices at the same price point.

Alternatively, your business can take advantage of the lower price points by upgrading in-use devices in 2019. Switching to an SSD and upgrading the RAM are two of the most cost-effective ways to breathe new life into an aging system. Well-timed upgrades can extend a computer’s viable lifespan and push back the upgrade cycle by a year or more.

Other Devices and Price Points

While dropping memory costs mean less expensive computers and cheaper upgrades, other device classes used in business probably won’t see a drop. The tablet and smartphone markets cater to specific price points, as opposed to offering the same devices at decreasing prices. If those devices are going to receive a boost, it’s going to come in the form of more storage at the same cost. However, the industry is showing signs of lowering price points, with the new iPad listed at $329 instead of $500.

If your business is looking to upgrade its computers at ideal intervals to balance productivity and cost, MPA Networks’ desktop management services can help. Contact us today to find out more.