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By Gary Barzel

With the emergence of cloud computing coupled with software as a service (SaaS), Web 2.0, and the proliferation of advanced wireless technologies and mobile devices, small businesses today are able to access a wealth of powerful and affordable technology solutions like never before. Moreover, those small businesses that are willing and ready to bring this technology into their operations are beginning to realize that they can even outrun and outsmart their big business competitors.

But with all this hoopla, it may become difficult for small business owners to sort out which equipment and applications are necessary, and which are not (or at least not for right now). Knowing how, if, and when, to bring in new technology is essential to the health of your business and can noticeably impact your bottom line. Here are a few things to consider before acquiring any new equipment or software for your company.

Why are you looking for this technology? First you need to define what you want to change or improve in your business. Depending on your needs, you may decide to hold off acquiring new technology if a viable, cheaper alternative exists. For example, many software applications have free open source equivalents that may suit the needs of your company.

What are the estimated costs of not upgrading to newer technologies? Knowing this information is important when deciding the right time to bring new technology in to your small business. When the costs of not upgrading, such as a decrease in productivity or lost potential sales, is greater than the cost of the new equipment or applications, then it is time to change your system.

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