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Freeze Frame!

Probably most of us in the technology world would urge these folks to upgrade their equipment, operating systems, and reality to something more current. But is it really needed? What's wrong with hanging out on Windows 95 if the work gets done, the clients keep coming back for more business, and their checks clear the bank?

What's wrong: productivity, frustrated users, and incompatible software. Let's add on the joy of software manufacturers that don't support their outdated software. And while we're adding to heap, you can chuck on hardware problems: no PCI slots on most machines, incompatible new hardware, and fights with hardware drivers.

I've made the case, more than once, that the people in this organization should upgrade their workstations to something more current. The speed gained from faster hardware alone would be a welcome relief to their more than aggravated users. In addition, the company would realize gains in productivity across the board.

Consider the amount of time it takes a user to save or retrieve a file, open an application, or shut down and start their computer every day. Let's be conservative and suppose it's an average of five minutes per day per user. Doesn't sound like much time wasted does it? Consider, however, that there are approximately 100 users on this network—all waiting, or you could say wasting, five minutes a day for technology to respond to their requests.

That's five minutes per user per day, or 500 minutes per day lost. What's that in lost time per week? At least 3500 minutes. Per year? 182,000 minutes, or roughly 3,033 hours. At the risk of a lawsuit, I'll tell you that this company is a law firm. A good law firm—and I like working with the people there. But we all know, or can imagine, what 3,033 billable hours means to an attorney. (Cha-ching your Honor!)

And please don't factor in the depreciation of equipment, expenses for technology, and the cost of doing business into this argument. (Okay, I can in my mind and you can, too.)

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