In fact, the effect of an SSD upgrade is immediately noticeable-more so than an increase in RAM or a processor upgrade. Aside from the benefits of getting things done faster, the speedup translates into greater user satisfaction. Moreover, SSDs don't have to cost a lot too; even a lower-end model will offer a significant system boost compared to a two- to three years-old mechanical HDD.
On the flip side, computers stuck with older computers running on the Parallel ATA (PATA) may be out of luck, since SSDs sold today are based on the newer Serial ATA (SATA) interface.
Get faster, more robust Internet connectivity
It's surprising that some businesses would skimp on Internet connectivity despite their complete reliance on it to get things done. Without the Internet, crucial business emails would not be received, chat clients and VoIP conferences would grind to a halt and Web-based CRM and ERP systems would be inaccessible.
With this in mind, increasing Internet speed will certainly speed up file downloads and the loading of Web pages. An even better idea: Sign up for a second Internet line with another provider and load balance access between the two lines. Not only will this speed things up, it will also provide a safety net should your Internet connectivity fail.
Store data in the cloud
One way to gain access to business documents anywhere in the world is to load them into the cloud. (Obviously, a thorough evaluation of the attendant security risks of storing business data in the public cloud should first be conducted prior to making the leap.)
Use a faster USB flash drive
Ever spot cheap USB flash drives at the flea market and wonder about the large price difference with those you saw elsewhere? Though part of the reason for the price disparity may be mark-ups imposed by more established shops, the truth is that not all USB flash drives offer the same kind of performance. The speed at which you can write files to or copy data from a flash drive varies depending on the electronics under the hood.
Raw access speeds are of little relevance for occasionally transporting small documents. Busineses that uses them with large files such as high-resolution photographs and computer assisted drawing (CAD) plans will appreciate faster flash drives. Instead of going for the cheapest USB flash drive, pay attention to the stated read/write speeds before buying.
Paul Mah is a freelance writer and blogger who lives in Singapore. Paul has worked a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul also enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones and networking devices. You can reach Paul at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @paulmah.
Read more about process improvement in CIO's Process Improvement Drilldown.