Our computers are old but they still work, what’s the worst that can happen?

Our computers are old but they still work, what’s the worst that can happen?

 

If you’re like the many small businesses we’ve run into, you struggle with justifying replacing your computers on a routine schedule. It's expensive and it's a headache...we get it, we really do.

Below we’ll go over the Pros and Cons of the two schools of thought...

#1- Keeping them ‘till they die!

Pros

  • You save the upfront cash not buying computers routinely and maximize your return on investment.
  • You don’t have to go through the pains of moving all your applications, settings and preferences to a new computer.
  • You don’t have to learn a new operating system (i.e., going from Windows 7 to Windows 10).

Cons

  • Your risk of hardware failure increases over time. For a business that uses computers to generate revenue, the eventual failure will likely cause revenue, productivity, and/or data loss.
  • When a computer finally fails, you will have an unexpected expense that was not budgeted for in advance. If you need a computer ASAP, you’ll also have expedited shipping fees and possibly increased IT labor cost if it requires after hours work to remediate.
  • Your aged PC may not be keeping up with your business’s needs and are a bottleneck for future growth. Running multiple monitors, applications and anything resource intense may cause older computers to struggle. At the very least, there is productivity loss. Worse case, your computer doesn’t meet your application vendor’s system requirements and you’ll have to replace your computers  unexpectedly.
  • Staying on old operating systems is a major issue once it’s retired by Microsoft. Using  end-of-life operating systems will cause compliance/security problems and your application vendors will drop support for it. 

#2- Refreshing them on a 3-5 year schedule!

Pros

  • Getting ahead of untimely hardware failure that could impact revenue & productivity loss.
  • You will have warranty coverage that can insulate you from an unexpected cost due to equipment failure.
  • Your PC is modern and meets your business’s needs as you use more technology day to day.
  • You are running a modern and supported operating system. You do not have to worry about compliance issues or your application vendor dropping support because you use an end-of-life operating system.
  • You have a predictable budget that you can plan for in advance.

Cons

  • Your IT spend will be higher. Replacing computers on a schedule vs. waiting until they die requires a budget.
  • Replacing a computer can be painful. You’ve had years of customization and familiarity with how it exists today. The IT company can only take it so far, so you’ll need to invest some time to make it just like how you want it.
  • You could be using an old application that doesn’t support a modern operating system or can’t be moved. This may trigger software, hardware, and consulting fees to bring your systems up to modern standards. 

As you can see, the two schools of thought are very different. If your business is stable or growing, waiting till they die is a short-sighted approach that will cost you more in the long run across the board.

 

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