How Often Should We Replace Our Business Computers?

How Often Should We Replace Our Business Computers?

Business owners are always walking a fine line between getting the most out of their business computers and replacing them before they start costing more than the price of a new one.

When computers are kept in operation for too long, it can end up costing companies in productivity losses and service calls. These types of costs often start adding up before a Sudbury business owner realizes it, dragging down business IT efficiency.

Costs of older computers can include multiple variables, such as:

  • Slow computers reducing productivity
  • Increased risk of a data breach
  • More service calls
  • Increased business downtime
  • Larger risk of data loss

According to a study released by Microsoft, holding onto computers for longer than 4 years costs more than buying two new computers.

The estimated annual cost of leaving a business computer in operation too long (4+ years) is $3,461 CAD.

Reasons to Replace Your Business Computers at 3-4 years

In addition to the Microsoft study, another study by Intel also pointed to the 3 to 4-year mark as being the optimum replacement cycle for a business computer.

It was found that between three and four years of operation, the total cost of ownership began to rise significantly due to the increased maintenance costs of older computers.

Here are several reasons below for replacing computers after they’ve passed 3-years old, along with data from the Intel PC lifecycle study.

Downtime Costs

Downtime costs go up with older computers because they have more problems both with hardware and software. Technology is evolving at record pace, and many 4-year old computers no longer have the specifications needed for newer software, this can cause conflicts that take a PC down.

Computers over 4-years old have twice the downtime of those that are 3-years old. This means more business disruption that costs your business both money and forward motion.

Intel PC Lifecycle Study

Just an hour of downtime can cost a small business $10,550 CAD.

Data Breach Risk

Another costly risk with older computers is that they are more susceptible to data breaches and malware infections.

This is largely in part to many of them hitting an upgrade barrier either with an operating system or software. They age out of having the needed specifications to support an update, leaving them particularly vulnerable to hackers and malware.

Over the last 12 months, Canadian companies have reported seeing a 82% increase in the volume of cyberattacks. 

PCs older than 4-years old have 3x as many security breaches than computers that are less than 3-years old.

Data Loss

Older computers are also shown to have higher incidents of data loss, with 4+-year old computer owners suffering data loss 3x more than those with computers younger than 3-years old.

As PCs age, they often begin having hard drive problems which can lead to crashes. If a computer isn’t properly backed up as part of a business continuity plan, everything can be lost.

When a hard drive on a computer that is syncing with a cloud storage software (which is not the same as a cloud backup) crashes, there is also the potential for cloud storage files to be lost as a result.

Rising Maintenance Costs

The older computers get, the more service and maintenance calls they require to keep in operation. A repair here and an emergency maintenance visit there, and soon you’ve paid more to service the older PC than the price of a new one.

PCs older than 4-years old have nearly twice the number of annual service calls as those 3-years old. The length of support calls are also longer, by about 20 minutes more each.

Productivity Loss

When an employee has to wait on a slow computer or spend 40 minutes of their day struggling with an issue and rebooting, that lost productivity can add up fast. 

42 hours per year in productivity are lost on average on a computer that’s older than four years while an employee is waiting on repairs. If an employee is making an average of $28 per hour, that’s a loss of $1,176 annually. 

And this doesn’t include the loss of being slowed down. If an employee is slowed down just 30 minutes a day by working on an older computer, that equates to approximately 100+ more hours of lost productivity each year, another $2,800+ in losses.

Employee Morale/Retention

If employees aren’t given equipment that allows them to do their job to the best of their ability it can cause frustration and low morale. If someone spends a good part of their day silently cursing at a slow computer, they’re more likely to have low job satisfaction and are a risk to leave and go to a company with more modern IT equipment.

Get Help with PC Upgrades & Migrations

The technology experts at Haxxess can help your company choose the best computer upgrades for your needs and make data migration simple by handling the entire process for you.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation! Call 705-222-8324 or reach out online.

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