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Are you stuck in a technology rut?

Taking a hard look at the age-old rule we seem to live by: If it ain't broke, don't fix it

By Sheryl Rowling

Apr 24, 2014 @ 9:08 am (Updated 9:02 am) EST

technology, device, software, upgrade, inertia

If you're like me, you get used to whatever software and hardware you have and can't imagine ever changing. If it's not broken, why fix it?

Consider my last laptop. After four years, it wasn't the most up-to-date. It didn't have the magic fingerprint lock and took a long time to boot up. But it worked. The thought of transferring all my programs and files was just too much for me. That is, until the keyboard began separating from the base and I couldn't get it to open files.

So I bit the bullet and … My new laptop is great! It has all the new bells and whistles; it's quick and it has the cool fingerprint thing!

(More: Computers and complexity)

As far as software goes, I've been using PortfolioCenter for more than a decade. It works well, providing accurate accounting and easy reporting. Since we've been using it so long, moving the data to another program would not be fun.

Still, we just made the decision to switch to Orion. Why? We want the cloud, not a server-based program. We like the integration with MoneyGuidePro and the video client reporting. And we like the full-service approach offered by Orion. We were motivated to overcome our inertia because technology had advanced in a huge way.

(See also: Technology: Bundled, best of breed, or both?)

Pondering the “if it isn't broken” rule, I'm questioning my ways. Should I really avoid change unless I'm forced to by a device breakdown or obsolete technology? If I truly want to be top in my field and do the best for my clients, I must seek out and embrace new and better technology even when my complacent self is telling me “Don't worry about it.”

Sheryl Rowling is chief executive of Total Rebalance Expert and principal at Rowling & Associates. She considers herself a non-techie user of technology.