Is that old computer costing you money?

No Old Computers

Is that old computer costing you money?

Is that old computer costing you money?  If you’re still clinging with white knuckled fingers to that 7-year-old desktop that you’ve been nursing along because you’re trying to save the business a few bucks….Stop it.  A study from Intel along with other industry research says you’re wasting money instead of saving it.

We all know that the budget is tight, and that business owners and managers make tough decisions every day on where to allocate limited resources.  What most people don’t think about is that the decision to not spend money could end up costing them a lot more.

Intel published a whitepaper discussing the optimal timing and methodology behind cycling older hardware.  The first thing they mentioned is that business owners need to start treating computer hardware as a strategic asset.  This will help change their mindset so that they make better decisions concerning its proper lifecycle, care, and maintenance.

One of the big headlines from the whitepaper is that 3 years is the optimal timing to refresh PC’s for most businesses.  They say that data shows cycling computers on this timeline provides optimal ROI.  PC’s that live past this threshold have increasing costs for support and maintenance that quickly surmount the cost of simply replacing the machine.  Other reports substantiate Intel’s claims.

A study by San Jose market research firm Techaisle estimated that in a 5-computer business with two old computers and three less than 3 years-old, the business could save $1500 in the first year by replacing the two older machines―a combination of reduced downtime and lower maintenance costs―enough to buy two new laptops and take the office to lunch.

In addition to regularly cycling your computer hardware the whitepaper gives some additional insights on strategies businesses can use to get the best bang for their IT buck.  The first mentioned tackles the deployment of new machines.  This is a potential area of cost that’s often not thought about.  Complicated system builds can take hours of professional IT help to complete.  There is a cost for that time.  Intel recommends a couple of things that will help streamline the process.

  1. Try to only set up a new machine once. Musical computers are a huge time suck, and generally not worth it.  Set it up once and move on for the lowest support costs.
  2. Use an imaging software for deployment of new machines. Most businesses have a common set of applications and a similar set up for all the machines on their network.  Deployments can be made faster by setting up a “golden” machine with your applications and configurations loaded on it.  Then use imaging software to essentially take a snapshot of the entire setup.  The next time you need to deploy a new machine simply apply the snapshot, and you’ve saved a lot of time and work

Standardization of computer hardware across the network can also be a huge area for cost savings.  It’s recommended that you pick 2 or 3 different hardware models that will meet your business needs and then stick to them.  This type of standardization yields several benefits.  Having fewer models to manage can help increase network security.  It can lower your IT support costs by reducing training, documentation, and unique process requirements.  It can also minimize repair costs by requiring few system component inventories.  A technology standard also allows you to leverage centralized solutions like patch management with confidence that it will work effectively across the network.

Older PC’s that may not be usable for standard office tasks may be repurposed for single task work like a conference room machine.  They did find however that financially the best option is to resell your cycled PC’s right after they get taken out of service, with a recommendation to first do a certified wipe of all data on the hard drive.

Here’s the bottom line.  Intel reports that by following its own guidelines for PC lifecycle management and new machine deployment it was able to significantly decrease total cost of ownership, including a 75% reduction in labor and support costs associated with deploying new hardware.  The cost savings are real.

Business owners can start to recognize savings by putting similar policies in place for their organizations.  By following these simple guidelines, you can eliminate employees frustration with old substandard hardware and start saving money at the same time.  i.t.NOW can help you with IT inventory software and regular strategy meetings.  Give us a call today!