One of the greatest fears of business owners today is having their technology fail resulting in loss of productivity and even worse the loss of data. Even though there is high risk, planning and budgeting for IT infrastructure is often overlooked.
At StrataMax we posed the question: When should you update your hardware?
The following figures are fairly consistent across suppliers when talking about replacing hardware.
- A desktop computer, 3-4 years – updating a desktop computer within these time-frames allows you to maintain the latest operating systems including the most up-to-date security patches.
- A laptop, 2-3 years – laptops are more prone to wear and tear so tend to have a shorter life than a desktop.
- A server, 3-5 years - the life of a server is both hardware and software dependent so best to keep replacement in the same time-frames as other hardware.
These are the arguments for replacing your hardware this time-frame.
Reducing downtime and lost productivity
Having staff sitting around while their computers are being repaired or just waiting as the computer slowly processes the data input is not desirable and often leads to user frustration.
Newer PCs support newer applications
By upgrading your PCs you are also able to update software applications. New software brings enhanced features, improved usability and better performance which ultimately points to better productivity.
The price of replacement
Computers, both servers and workstations on average have become less expensive and more powerful year on year for the past decade and allow your employees to be more productive.
Older equipment may not be covered by warranty
Most computer manufacturers will give five years as the ‘end of life’ of server hardware but warranties are normally one to three years and extending these time-frames is usually quite costly and replacement parts will become less available.
Replacement hardware becomes obsolete
Once the lifecycle of a computer or server has expired you run the risk of prolonged downtime trying to find spare parts or they may become prohibitively expensive.
Cheaper electricity costs
You can reduce running cost with newer equipment as newer servers are designed with the latest technology which consumes less electricity while giving you higher performance.
While all computing environments are different and requirements for replacing computers and servers may differ, the need to plan for their ultimate retirement should be taken into account by creating a technology roadmap which should include planning and budgeting for replacement computers and servers. Not only will this proactive stance prevent costly maintenance and downtime in the event of a crisis but it will allow for greater productivity and happier users.
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