How Long Should You Keep a Computer?

When enterprise devices start to slow down, we fear that the end is near. While the knee jerk reaction is often to replace the whole fleet quickly, there’s a lot to consider before placing an order for new machines.

Questions like “how long do computers last?” or “how long should I keep my laptop?” are common in technology forums. But the answer to these questions is relative. It all depends on the hardware components, the software, the environment, and more.

But first, it’s important to make a distinction between consumer-grade computers and enterprise-grade computers. This is because consumer-grade computer brands compete fiercely for the attention of price-conscious customers.

They are often built with cheaper components at the lower end of the spectrum (to keep costs down) and aren’t designed to last long. For example, consumer-grade laptops aren’t meant to last more than a year or two (at most). On the other hand, enterprise-grade computers are built with cutting-edge parts and complemented by the enterprise version of the operating system and Office 365.

What Are the Signs That You’re Due for a Technology Refresh?

Slow Downs

As mentioned above, when your computer slows down, it’s one of the telltale signs that you need an upgrade. However, it’s important to make sure that a virus or Windows 10 didn’t cause it.

Update Issues

Another common indicator that it may be time to replace your computer is update issues. If you’re running into problems with every software update, it means your hardware can no longer support the application.

Multitasking Challenges

Computers are built to run multiple applications simultaneously. So whenever you run into compatibility issues, it often means that your motherboard needs replacing. In other words, whenever you experience hardware issues like this, it’s safe to say that it’s time to buy.

What Are the Dangers of Waiting Too Long to Replace Your Computer?

Waiting too long to replace your company computers will have a significant impact on your bottom line. Under-performing computers often lead to the following:

Significant Downtime

Legacy hardware and systems break down more and result in device downtime. For example, if you’re a small business and your accountant’s computer is out for repairs, it’ll delay the deployment of customer invoices.

For large corporations, even a small amount of downtime impacts interconnected activities. This often costs multinationals hundreds of dollars per minute.

Lost Productivity

When company computers slow down, it has a direct impact on employee productivity. Low productivity can cost your business more than the cost of a new computer.

In this scenario, if computers slow down and cost your business (let’s say) an hour a day in lost productivity, that equals about 20 hours every month (or 240 hours a year in lost productivity).

Increases the Risk of Data Breach

When legacy computers have issues with compatibility and security updates, the risk of a data breach grows exponentially. Whenever this happens, your entire network becomes vulnerable to a cyber-attack.

As ransomware attacks and data breaches can cripple small businesses with fines for compliance violations (and loss of brand value), it’s vital to consider an upgrade to ensure business continuity.

Lose a Competitive Advantage

If your business desktops and laptops can’t support the latest tools and technologies, you risk losing a competitive advantage in the marketplace. So it’s essential to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and strive to get the maximum return on investment.

So How Long Should You Keep Enterprise Computers?

If you get your computers through a managed services provider, you’ll already have a deal in place to replace your machines every few years. Most often, these technology refresh cycles last five years for business desktops and three years for company laptops.

Managed services providers come up with these time frames from experience. If you reach out to your network on LinkedIn, you’ll notice that other companies also work with a similar time frame.

This approach also provides organisations with discounted operating systems and Office 365 that come preinstalled. You can even bundle these managed services packages with IT support, helpdesk services, and network support.

If you need help replacing legacy office computers, we can help! Reach out to one of our in-house experts, and we’ll be happy to walk you through the entire process.