CyNexLink Blog • September 5, 2017
Small businesses and nonprofits generally utilize a strategic plan to guide them through their monetary objectives, yet, many don’t have an accompanying program for their technology that supports the overall venture. These companies tend to take a reactionary, conservative approach to software and hardware that ultimately can plague efficiency and mire monetary gains.
When hardware breaks down or critical software can’t run because of outdated systems, it needs to be replaced. However, it would be prudent of businesses to adopt a strategic plan for tech replacement which bypasses potential security risks and surprise expenses for the sake of productivity.
Desktops tend to last 3 to 4 years, yet, small businesses and nonprofits may try to squeeze out a few more years for what is perceived as “saving money.” But, maintaining older computers can have a dramatically negative impact on a company, as was shown in a 2014 study conducted by Techaisle.
That study shows that maintaining older computers can negatively affect operating costs due to repair expenses.
“Among small businesses with 50-99 employees, the average cost of repairing PCs 4 years old or older is $521 per year,” the study says. “The repair cost therefore either equals or even exceeds the purchase price of some new PCs.”
Older computers also diminish productivity.
“Slightly over 36 percent of small businesses have 4+ years’ old PCs which create many different types of problems for the both the owner and the employees,” the study says.
Conversely, newer computers were shown to increase productivity and reduce operating costs. Small business owners said new computers allowed them to run 60% more applications at the same time without any negative impacts to the system or application performance, unlike any computer that’s more than four years old, the study says.
“This is a significant improvement as small businesses are increasingly using several different types of applications simultaneously including business productivity applications, Email and web, online chat and video, line of business applications, social media interactions, finance and accounting as well as music and games,” the study says.
However, this study only analyzed computers. Today, businesses use smartphones and other mobile devices, which tend to have an even shorter shelf life than desktops. General consensus is that mobile devices should be replaced each year.
Clearly, tech is foundational to the essence of most businesses. Yet, many small businesses and nonprofits forget that devices have lifespans and need to be replaced.
It can be difficult trying to budget within a small business. Company leaders may think they are being savvy when overextending the lifespan of a desktop or mobile device. But, in actuality, they’re hurting their business in a number of ways.
It’s important for businesses to have a strategic outline for device replacement so that they can continue being productive and efficient rather than investing money in outdated, failing products.
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