One of those costs that business owners may try to put off as long as possible is the purchase of new computers.
To get a good business-grade computer, you’ll most likely be spending in the neighborhood of $1,000-$2,000 or more if you need one with special performance features. So, if you’re looking at 25-30 devices for an entire office, those upgrade costs can really add up over time.
But what happens if you keep those business computers longer than you should?
You could end up paying far more due to lost productivity and security concerns than the upgrade would’ve cost you in the first place.
According to a study by Microsoft, PCs that are older than four years are over twice as likely to experience the following problems than newer computers:
- Slow downs
- Boot up issues
- Poor battery life
- Disk drive crashes
- Data loss
- Network connection problems
What’s the cost of all those problems? Approximately $2,736 per year, per device. So, keeping a computer for too long, even just a year longer than you should, would cost a small business more than the typical price of a new business PC.
An extensive study by Intel provides even more insight into why you want to start computer shopping when a computer hits three years.
What Costs Are You Paying by Keeping that Older PC?
If you think a 5-year replacement cycle for your business computers is sufficient, then you may be surprised at the costs involved with keeping that computer that long.
While managed IT services can keep systems efficient during their usable lifespan, the speed at which technology marches on makes computers in a business environment “age out” between about the 3 to 4-year mark.
You have to consider the full-time use that computers are getting when being used at work as well, which can put a strain on hard drives, memory, and other performance areas.
Here are some of the ways that holding onto a PC too long can be costing you more than the cost of replacing it.
The statistics below come from a report by Intel on a computer’s optimum refresh cycle.
One of the highest cost factors is productivity. When older computers get slow and problematic, they begin stealing hours of time away from users each week as they’re dealing with downtime issues and trying to get help to get their system back up and running.
Older PCs actually have users on the phone with tech support 44% longer per each call and have nearly double the number of calls needed than younger devices.
Average time on phone with tech support:
- 2 to 3-year old computer: 39 minutes
- 4+ year old computer: 56 minutes
Number of help desk calls/month:
- 2 to 3-year old computer: 1.0
- 4+ year old computer: 1.8
Downtime can come in small doses, 10 minutes here or 30 minutes there, and it can also come in large bursts of multiple days without a computer while it’s being repaired.
It’s often the small doses that cost companies the most because they’re not aware of just how much those frequent downtime incidents are costing them overall.
Just one minute of downtime can cost a small business as much as $427.
Downtime costs is another area where you see a stark difference once a computer reaches over four years of age.
Downtime according to age of PC:
- 1 to 3-year old computer, 3 out of 10 users had downtime in the last year
- 3 to 4-year old computer, 5 out of 10 users had downtime in the last year
- 4+ year old computer, 8 out of 10 users had downtime in the last year
Data Breach Costs
Security is another factor when you’re dealing with older computers. They can often have certain components that have vulnerabilities and may not always be able to get the latest update because the system specs are no longer supported.
Data breaches can not only devastate small businesses, they can also cause them to have to close their doors for good if they don’t have the resources to fully recover.
The Intel report found that computers older than 4 years had security breaches 3x more often than computers under 3-years old.
Number of security breaches per user according to PC age:
- 2 to 3-year old computer: 0.05
- 3 to 4-year old computer: 0.18
- 4+ year old computer: 0.28
Data Loss Costs
Older PCs are more likely to have hard drive crashes and other system problems that can result in permanent data loss. If a PC isn’t properly backed up, then that can mean thousands of dollars spent trying to recreate files.
User data loss also jumped significantly once a PC was older than 3 years, with computers at 4+ years losing data 3x more often than those under 3-years old.
Data loss occurrences per user according to PC age:
- 2 to 3-year old computer: 0.04
- 3 to 4-year old computer: 0.23
- 4+ year old computer: 0.32
Is It Time to Upgrade Your Computer? Cris’s Tech Repair Can Help
Are you losing productivity due to slow business computers? We can help you with a full device evaluation and come up with an affordable upgrade plan that meets your needs and keeps your team productive.
Schedule a computer consultation today by calling 561-985-4961 or contacting us online.