To say technology is a critical component in any small business today would be an understatement. However, there is an age-old question, “When should my company update its computer systems?” We all know the struggles we face using a computer that just isn’t quite up to snuff. We are all painfully aware of the early warning signs when a computer is on its way out. There is trouble running our favorite web browser, web pages load a bit slower and excel documents freeze up and crash altogether. We understand that as a small business you need to strike a balance between productivity while maintaining a budget. So, how can you tell when your company should look into replacing its computers?
First, let’s take a glance at the average lifespan of a computer.
It is important to draw a distinction between Business PCs and Consumer PCs. Consumer computers are built to be specifically priced for consumer outlets and use. The inner workings that make up the Consumer PCs are usually purchased from the lowest priced supplier with little to no emphasis on quality or reliability. Cheaper components cause instability, reliability concerns, and overall poor performance. Depending on the strain and demands on your Consumer grade PCs you can expect roughly a 2-3 year life expectancy.
Key takeaway: If your company is using Consumer grade PCs then you can expect around a 2-3 year life expectancy with a 1-year warranty on average.
Now let’s talk about Business Class. In general, these Business Class PCs are built to order. However, there are pre-built models that make use of common configurations. These types of computers have reliable components that are built to perform better and handle common business tasks. In addition, these types of computers have a more extensive warranty that ensures parts are quickly and easily replaced.
Key takeaway: Business class computers also outperform Consumer PCs and have a longer life expectancy. These computers have an average life span of 3-5 years with a much longer warranty on average.
Depending on the class of computer your company has will determine when you will need to replace your computers.
Early Warning Signs a Computer Is Failing
• Performance tapers off as new software or apps are added – all functions begin to slow down
• Issues with updating or installing the latest operating system
• Trouble or issues with running needed software apps
Generally, as computers age and as new software is installed on the systems it will gradually require more resources to run it properly. This will begin to have an impact on overall PC performance and slow down other various functions as well.
So to bring it around when do you purchase new computers for your company? If you have Business Class PCs you will want to replace them every 3 – 5 years as a rule of thumb. Additionally, we recommend reviewing program requirements to balance both productivity and costs. At a minimum when it comes to purchasing a new Business Class PC we recommend these basic specs:
• Intel i5
• 8G Ram
• Solid State hybrid or Solid State Drive
The Bottom Line When It Comes To Replacing Computers
Whether hardware failure or software obsolescence, eventually you will have to replace your company’s computers. Computer upgrades and improvements mean people in your company will spend less time doing more mundane tasks and more time on important activities. If your computer systems are currently 5 years or older it’s time for an upgrade.