When it comes to procuring technology for your business, you’re often presented with two choices: save money by going with technology that’s been around for a while, or spend a little more to get the latest and greatest on the market. It’s tempting to go with the cheaper option, but, in the long run, it generally pays to go with the latest solutions, thanks to an IT concept know as “future proofing.”

Essentially, future proofing is when you’re deliberately pursuing upgrading your network with the latest technology in order to prolong the period of time before you have to upgrade again. To help you future proof your IT network, here are three of the latest IT technologies you should consider (today, not five or ten years from now).

Windows 10 Pro
One simple way to stay on top of upgrading is to use the latest operating system. Yet, this is easier said than done for businesses that have multiple workstations and don’t wish to spend the money it takes to upgrade every piece of hardware in one fell swoop. Additionally, you may want to hold off on upgrading until all of your mission-critical applications have first been tested on the new system. At the same time, it would be beneficial to take advantage of the latest OS for some of your workstations, even if you can’t upgrade every unit.

To make such a transition easier for organizations, Microsoft offers Windows 10 Pro licenses. The future-proof advantage of Windows 10 Pro is that it allows you to downgrade to a previous supported version, like Windows 7 or 8.1. Meanwhile, you’ll have easy access to Windows 10, should you be in a place where you’re ready to upgrade to it in the near future.

As a bonus, Windows 10 Pro will prepare you for when Microsoft ends support for Windows 7 and 8.1 on July 17, 2017, and January 10, 2023 respectively. Ed Bott of Tech Pro Research explains:

For 6th Generation [Intel] Core CPUs (Skylake), support for Windows 7 and 8.1 ends on July 17, 2017. Microsoft will support only Windows 10 on processor models that succeed Skylake. If you plan to continue using Windows 7 past that date, your best bet is to take advantage of bargains in the 4th and 5th Generation (Haswell and Broadwell) Intel processor families. Microsoft says PCs built using those CPUs will be fully supported for the entire 10-year lifecycle of all Windows versions.

HDMI 2.0
HDMI is today’s standard for displaying high definition video, and to ensure that your high definition video needs are covered for years to come, we recommend going with HDMI 2.0 when buying new hardware.

HDMI 2.0 supports 4K resolution at 60Hz, along with a full range of audio formats. What differentiates HDMI 2.0 from the original version is its ability to display 4K. While 4K may seem a bit unnecessary in today’s business environment, keep in mind that high definition displays like 4K eventually will become the norm, and if you go with HDMI 2.0 now, then you won’t have to upgrade your cables to 4K in the future.

USB Type-C
USB technology has been around long enough to have seen many upgrades and different versions. The latest in USB technology is USB Type-C. Ed Bott explains the advantages of this latest USB innovation:

  • The first wave of devices containing USB Type-C connectors have already arrived, in the form of phones like Google’s Nexus 6P and Microsoft’s Lumia 950 XL, as well as laptops like the Dell XPS 15.
  • USB 3.1 support allows you to transfer at speeds up to 10 Gb/sec, which is double the transfer rate of USB 3.0.
  • USB Power Delivery supports device chargers of up to 100W, making it possible to charge phones and even power-hungry laptops from the same USB Type-C power source.
  • Alternate modes allow the use of DisplayPort, Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), and Thunderbolt 3 display connectors at full resolution.

Just like a 4K display, one day, USB Type-C will be the norm and you’ll have to upgrade to it. Therefore, if you’re making plans now to refresh your company’s technology, then you might as well go with USB Type-C so you won’t have to perform a special upgrade to it in the not-too-distant future.

Of course, these are just three technologies that allow you to future-proof your IT network. When it comes down to it, almost every component has a latest version that will set you up nicely for your company’s future. To have an IT professional assess your network so that you can be well prepared for the future, give Net It On, LLC a call at (732) 360-2999.

April 11, 2016