Using a computer until it stops working is the most cost-effective solution for small businesses, right? While this may seem like an obvious answer, a look at the numbers offers a very different story. Triple Source Technologies recommends our clients replace their computers every 3-4 years from our years of experience and observation. By four years of age, most computers are considered obsolete and begin to develop issues that cut into your bottom line. The cost to repair machines dramatically increases with age, while employees lose productive time waiting, and the integrity of valuable data begins to diminish. This article examines the case for replacing your computers every 3-4 years rather than using them until they cease to function.
Cost of Repairing Old Computers
The most apparent cost from the use of aging computers comes into play when looking at the cost of repairs. According to Intel’s study, the average cost to repair a 4+-year-old computer is $561, including parts and labor. When looking at a newer PC, the cost averages only $326. This cost can often be avoided by purchasing computers under warranty. As a trusted vendor for Dell, Triple Source Technologies offers a standard 3-year warranty on our recommended desktop, the Dell 3080. This warranty comes only when purchasing through authorized resellers. Allowing Triple Source Technologies to purchase on your behalf ensures your products are genuine. Furthermore, as part of a managed service contract, we track your assets’ age to ensure the age doesn’t creep up on you.
Cost of Lost Productivity
Another issue to consider with older machines is the time that employees lose waiting on their computers. As computers age, they often begin to operate at a lower efficiency. One of the areas this becomes most apparent is in startup time. According to J. Gold Associates, the average new computer starts in approximately 30 seconds while a PC 4+ years old can take more than 3 minutes to start. Following this trend over a year for an employee making $20/hr, this equates to over $200 in lost productivity. User productivity is also affected by other issues related to inefficiencies with older machines. In a Tech Isle survey, they determined an older computer contributes 42 hours of lost time over a year, costing over $840 a year for a $20/hr employee.
Cost of Failures and Lost Data
It should be no surprise that aging computers are less reliable and more prone to data loss. Even with the best backups, provided through a managed service provider such as Triple Source Technologies, older computers tend to store information on areas not covered by backups. With time and use, users save data in nonstandard places, or programs use nonstandard directories. The longers a computer is used, the more spread the data tends to become. Data proliferation is easier to deal with during planned replacements, but this may not be possible on a failed machine. According to the J. Gold Associates survey, the average failure rate is over 40% per year on machines 5+ years old while only 13% per year in the first 3 years.
Cost to Cybersecurity
Finally, operating older machines inside your business leaves you more open to cybersecurity breaches. Older systems are more vulnerable to an ever-growing number of possible security exploits. The longer a particular model has been in use, the more likely critical flaws will be discovered in the underlying hardware or software. Newer machines are more likely to benefit from continued updates; however, as machines age, they are less like to receive support. These exploits can cause simple data loss or an even more severe breach leading to the theft of your’s or your client’s data. Triple Source Technologies helps mitigate this risk by using high-quality antivirus software and securing your network behind an enterprise-grade firewall.
When taken together, the costs and risks of using older equipment far outweigh the perceived benefit of continuing to use a computer because “it still works.” If you’re ready to take your computing environment to the next level while ensuring your technology is an asset, not a hindrance, contact Triple Source Technologies today. Our team of experts will be happy to provide you with a no-cost technology assessment to review your current technology environment.