How old is too old when it comes to PCs?
Longevity isn’t a word we associate with any of our personal digital devices, yet the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” philosophy seems to be the rule when it comes to our work devices. While most business owners want to stretch their asset dollars as far as possible, waiting until your computers are outdated can mean decreased productivity and increased downtime and repairs.
Your employees’ work devices directly affect your cybersecurity, so developing a healthy replacement cycle is an essential business consideration. Figuring out the right upgrade schedule for business computers can be challenging, but it will help avoid the significant issues of waiting too long to refresh.
What‘s a good replacement cycle for business devices?
Today’s computers run at peak for roughly 3-5 years, though most IT pros say it’s closer to 3 years. A “wait till it dies” mentality can be costly when applied to the devices your employees use daily – financially and even from an employee morale standpoint. Frustrating tools can quickly create a frustrated workforce.
A study from Microsoft found that employees spend, on average, a day per year waiting for old computers to boot up. Their study also found that a PC beyond year four:
- Runs slower and struggles to run multiple applications at once
- Consumes more power and has a shorter battery life
- Is 2.7x more likely to require repair than in year three
- Decreases user productivity by 112 hours per year (nearly three weeks!)
- Costs a company an average of $2,636 per year per device
Further, these aging computers have twice the downtime and are three times more susceptible to security breaches and data loss. This translates to a significant upswing in the cost of ownership, making it more cost-effective to replace two or more PCs than to keep an old PC operational for more than four years.
How do you spend your tech budget wisely?
If your computers have hit the three-year mark, don’t pour more resources into old devices. The “make it last longer” philosophy can backfire where your computers are concerned, draining money and resources away from your business in other ways. Considering all the costs of outdated PCs, new devices are your best investment.