Just like your car, your IT equipment will not last forever.
Each one needs servicing regularly and, importantly, software updates, but eventually over time both of them will become less reliable; it’s one of the reasons that a car lease generally lasts for three years and that computer equipment on the whole is renewed after 36 months.
Given that there’s hardly a business anywhere that doesn’t rely on computer equipment, IT issues can cause significant concerns such as data loss and lost productivity, so sticking to a strict maintenance schedule is, not only, essential but crucial if you want to ensure your business is future proofed.
Time to change?
No organisation wants to spend money before it has to, but at the same time companies should not be depending on a piece of equipment that has long outlived its usefulness because of out-of-date hardware or software.
Even if your kit appears to be running smoothly, a slowdown in performance (which you might not actually be aware of as it happens so slowly) can seriously impact the users’ productivity. Then there’s the fact that older machines will consume more energy and have a shorter battery life, and eventually updates will no longer be supported – although this doesn’t appear to stop some companies from carrying on regardless.
But how do you know when it’s the right time to invest in new equipment? Ideally you’ll have a monthly IT support contract with a managed service provider (MSP), such as us, who will keep your equipment up to date with updates, installations and patches (which quite often are carried out in the background without you realising) as well as knowing when warranties are coming to an end and being able to carry out repairs that no one can predict, such as a broken fan.
Replace before it costs you time & money!
We’ve already stated that your equipment will deteriorate over time and eventually it will need replacing (preferably before it packs in) and one of the main drivers for this is the impact on productivity. Computers are far more reliable than they’ve even been, but sometimes things do go wrong and your MSP should be advise you on which option is the most cost-effective – repair or replace.
In all too many cases when we take on a new IT client we find that the incumbent has neglected them. It really shouldn’t happen but it does; a system that’s not backed-up (or pointlessly backed-up in numerous places), servers teetering on the edge and out of warranty, and peripherals about to plummet down a precipice!
Replace all in one go?
If you have the budget available, replacing equipment en-masse can make the process of upgrading far easier to manage, and at the end of it your have equipment that’s on an equal footing in terms of capability, power and looks (as well as avoiding ill-feeling between team members with new laptops and those who don’t have them!).
Buying in bulk also gives you the chance to negotiate a great price on the equipment from your supplier, although there are funding schemes available from business support groups as well as Government schemes.
On a final note it’s also worth considering whether your equipment needs to be replaced like-for-like. A cloud-based solution is likely to be a more appropriate alternative such as moving to a hosted email service like as Microsoft’s Office 365 instead of replacing an ageing Exchange server. But that’s for another blog post!