7 Steps to Success with Your Technology

Computers, smart phones, servers, networks and tablets are all forms of technology and there’s some basic tips that will improve the return on your investment.

1. Buy What You Need
Asking yourself what it is you need to use this technology for is the best way to start out.  Will you be checking email, looking up products, running a special program or database, running a small business, editing video or photos, or just communicating via social media? How long do you intend to use this technology?  Some of these have very specific requirements of the technology you’re planning to use.  Length of time can guide decisions on data capacity and/or active memory storage.

Don’t forget this technology needs to be enjoyable to use.  Especially if you are adopting something new.  You need to WANT to use it.  If it becomes a chore, you won’t enjoy what you’re doing.  Pick something Fun!

2. Understand How It Works
You know should know not just what the buttons do, but some of the basics about the features this technology comes with.  Taking pictures, making screenshots, sending an email with the content attached, even properly turning it off and on again can be very simple tasks and knowing what they are before you need them can really improve the value of the technology you've purchased.

3. Safeguard It
Whether it’s keeping the laptop in the trunk versus the back seat, installing antivirus, or not holding your smartphone in front of you while on public transportation, you should always be mindful of safeguarding your technology.  Theft of the device or your personal information are avoidable disasters which can be easily resolved with preparation, situational awareness and common sense.

4. Keep It Updated
Updates to your technology can be a pain.  They take time, you have to monitor them in some cases, and you do run the risk of a problem.  However, updates deliver security fixes, feature improvements, and in some cases brand new functionality you've never had before. Preparing for updates with backups can bring some peace of mind!

5. Choose The Right Add-Ons
The technology you choose rarely comes with everything you need to achieve your goals.  Sometimes you need some software or an external device to use with it.  Take your time and choose the right add on for the job.  Many free apps have hidden unwanted features that can actually compromise your security.  You might even purchase something with isn't compatible with your technology.  Ask questions and don’t be apprehensive because you don’t fully understand the technology.  Buying from someone who cares about your success is the best investment.

6. Clean It Up
Good care and maintenance will extend the lifespan of your technology.  Removing temporary files, making sure that air filters stay clean, fully removing apps you no longer use, and manufacturer’s guidance can actually turn your investment into a money making machine when it exceeds its lifespan!

7. Know When To Let Go
Ultimately, all technology become obsolete.  Sometimes that obsolescence sneaks up on you.  Worse yet, some hardware and software aren't upgradable, and you have to start over again if you let a generation pass you by.

Be aware of the telltale signs of obsolescence.  You might find that some updates aren't working anymore, or you get an alert from a manufacturer or developer that a new version is being released.  Take a few minutes to read the fine print – you may need to start making plans for another technology investment.

Wade Stewart is the Managing Member of Stewart and Son Computer Services, LLC in University Place, WA and serves as a trusted partner to many local small and medium sized businesses.

You can read more from Wade at Stewart and Son by visiting the following blog sites:

Content Copyright Wade Stewart (C) 2015

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,