Does Your Business Need a Computer Upgrade?

When was the last time your business did a computer upgrade? Be honest, was it two years ago, five years ago or maybe you can’t even remember?

Well, according to people in the know, five years seems to be the maximum functional lifespan for a computer. Maybe it’s not a coincidence, but studies show that many small businesses wait at least five years before tackling a major equipment upgrade. Business owners are always looking for ways to control costs and one strategy is to keep older equipment functioning as long as possible. Unfortunately, after five years this approach can backfire on a business as it turns into a “penny wise and pound foolish” strategy.

Reasons to Upgrade Sooner than Later

Windows XPHere’s a quick look at the primary reasons it makes sense to start planning for a computer upgrade:

  1. Support Costs and Repair Expenses: Keeping an old computer running can be a lot like keeping an old car on the road. It’s probably a well-intentioned plan in the beginning, but sometimes the repair costs start to overshadow the actual value of the car. It’s a similar situation with an old computer. When support costs and replacement parts start down the “penny wise” path, you probably have a losing proposition on your hands.
  2. Loss of Productivity: Slow, slower, slowest? So slow your computer can barely reboot? Are your computers running out of storage and can’t handle newer versions of some essential software? If the answer is yes, then you are losing productivity and productivity is the life blood of your business.  A large company recently estimated the cost of lost productivity for a four minute boot-up time as opposed to a two minute boot-up at $28 million. That’s a big dollar amount for people drinking coffee while staring at a blank computer screen.
  3. Time for a New Operating System: If you are still using Windows XP, have you marked April 8, 2014 on the calendar? That is date that Microsoft officially ends XP’s lifecycle and it will no longer be sold or supported. After that date, to continue to use this defunct operating system will place your business at risk for serious security threats. This can also put your company in danger for being non-compliant regarding a variety of regulations. Many businesses are making plans to coordinate the purchase of new computers with the need to migrate to a new operating system prior to April 2014. If you weren’t aware of this Microsoft deadline, be aware – it’s a big deal.
  4. Is it More Cost Effective to Repair or Buy a New Computer: If the overall cost of upgraded parts for your existing computer is 50% of the cost of a new computer, then conventional wisdom says buy the new computer. Given the current prices on computer this makes sense. A budget PC can be as low as $300 and for $800 you can get something quite nice.  Consumers and business owners are always hedging their bets on computer commitments. “What if something better comes along in six months?” If your current computer is impeding your productivity, stop trying to second guess it – you probably need that new computer today!

If you don’t know about the XP lifecycle, we can help. Read this article now that you have decided to take the plunge and get rid of those old computers. If you don’t know what to do with your old computers – we have the answers!