How Often Should We Replace Our Business Computers?

How Often Should We Replace Our Business Computers?

Do you have a certain computer replacement strategy in place at your company? Or do you just replace PC’s as they become impossible to use any longer?

It can be difficult to know exactly when you should replace business computers because they may seem fine and have not had a hard drive crash. However, that does not necessarily mean that they are not costing you money.

Lost productivity due to older computers slowing down and increased data security risk can mean bigger costs for your business than the price of a new PC.

A study by Microsoft found that holding onto older PC’s longer than they should will cost businesses approximately $2,736 per year

Are you finding that your Connecticut business is always dealing with one PC problem or another? Computer repairs, downtime and security breaches all keep companies from reaching their full potential.

Many companies hold on to computers for five years or longer before replacing them. However, there are several statistics that show that this is too long. 

Optimum Business PC Replacement Cycle: 3 years

The optimum business computer replacement cycle is three years. There are several factors that go into this:

  • productivity losses
  • costs of data loss
  • downtime

Here are some surprising statistics from a computer longevity study by Intel to find the best replacement cycle for businesses. They all point at replacing computers after they reach 3 years old.

Total Cost of Ownership Curve Rises Sharply After 3 Years

There is a sharp increase between years 3 and 4 when looking at three factors for the total cost of ownership and TCO curve.

Factors include:

  • Acquisition costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • Training costs

The rise in maintenance costs between years 3 and 4 is the main factor that makes it much more expensive to keep older computers in operation.

Downtime

Computers that are older than 4 years are twice as likely to have downtime than computers that are 3 years old.

Downtime can be costly. This is especially true when it creeps up on a business a few minutes here and there at a time.

The typical cost of downtime for a small or mid-sized business is as follows:

  • Under $10,000/hour (27%)
  • $10,000 – $20,000/hour (26%)
  • $20,001 – $40,000/hour (25%)
  • $40,001 – $50,000/hour (13%)
  • Over $50,000/hour (10%)

Number of and Duration of Tech Support Calls

Computers older than 4 years means nearly twice as many tech support calls as computers less than 3 years old and the calls are also significantly longer.

Support calls average 36 minutes for computers between 3 to 4 years old. Once computers are older than 4 years, support calls average 56 minutes each (about 55% longer).

An individual calling tech support and being on the phone for nearly an hour eats into productivity and can completely disrupt a person’s normal workday. 

Data Breaches

Computers older than 4 years have three times as many data breaches as those younger than 3 years.

Older computers represent more of a security threat for a number of reasons. They may be running older operating systems that no longer get vital security updates. Another problem is the inability to upgrade to newer and more secure versions of software applications.

Data Loss

Computers older than 4 years have three times as many data loss incidents as those younger than 3 years.

Data loss can be very costly to a company and can cost an average of $150 per lost file. Older PC’s have more potential for hard drive crashes due to parts wearing out. This is especially true if they are not being monitored through a remote support plan.

What To Look For When Buying a New Business Computer

When choosing a new business computer to replace an older one that has reached the 3+ year mark, there are several things you want to consider:

You May Not Need as Much Space

One of the first things people usually look for when choosing a new computer is storage space. However, you might not need as much as you think.

Many companies now use cloud storage to keep all files centrally located and accessible. This means you may be able to buy a business PC with less hard drive storage space which lowers the overall cost.

Look for a PC with a Solid-State Drive (SSD)

SSD’s are a newer type of computer drive that is significantly faster than traditional hard drives when it comes to read/write speeds. The drives use flash memory to write to the disk and don’t have any moving parts.

This equates to better performance, faster reboots and faster application launches. 

Get Enough Memory (RAM)

Memory is not something you want to skimp on when choosing a business PC. If you go with 4GB of memory, then you are asking for performance problems right off the bat because you have handicapped the system.

You want at least 8GB or more of memory for a business computer and look for the ability for memory to be upgradable in the future in case you need to add more.

Get Help Choosing the Best Computers for Your Business 

Sound Computers can guide your Connecticut business when it comes to smart and cost-effective business PC purchases. 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 860-577-8060 or reach us online.

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