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How often should we upgrade our computers?

How often should we upgrade our computers?

How often should we upgrade our computers?

This is a question that we’re often asked. Some schools of thought suggest every 3 or 4 years, others say, whenever you need to on a case by case basis.

The dilemma is that when your busy there’s no time to think about upgrading and when the time comes, there’s just nothing in the kitty to spend.

But we know as business owners that we should plan for things, that’s why having a budget in place to replace a PC every so often helps. We know that nothing lasts forever. It will go pop one day and when it does it will be at just the wrong time.

It’s easy to underestimate the loss in productivity due to poor IT performance or regular PC hangs and reboots. Often no one is told of the problem and the staff member just accepts that this is the way it is and plods along. One thing to consider is that PC’s don’t need to belong to one individual forever. You will have some demanding users who must have speed and power so you could replace these uses PC’s every 2 or 3 years and pass the old one on to the less demanding users. When you have new staff members, you want them to be productive but would it be better that they have a nearly new system and monitor rather than new. In this way no one suffers from the famine and feast scenario.

Is an extended warranty worth the money?

We recommend that new PCs are bought with an inclusive 3 year on-site, next business day support plan. This generally costs between £35 and £70 depending on the machine and we think is money very well spent. So with that in mind and allowing for some extra time setting a replacement plan of 4 years, we think, is usually about right.

What other questions should you consider?

  • Are some system unreliable? – ask the users to list the issues they have.
  • Is the server reaching capacity, supported by manufacturer, is the operating system current?
  • Think about how your staff use their systems. Could changes help productivity?
  • When will the business have sufficient funds for any changes? Would you consider financing?
  • Are the monitors used up to the mark and large enough. Would having 2 monitors help?
  • Are some systems slow? – it maybe that adding memory will make a massive difference.
  • Have the demands placed on PCs and the Server grown over the years?
  • Will any software need upgrading soon, if so what are the system requirements?
  • Very old PCs may be running unsupported software. This may not be as productive as modern versions and may even be unsupported.
  • Is disk space low? – a good clean up could help a lot.
  • Could some simple maintenance help the users and limp some systems along?
  • Would swapping PC’s between users make more sense?
  • It maybe more cost effective to replace than repair.

Go through the bullet points above and make an outline plan, think about the budget, time scales and needs of the business. If you’re not sure about which way to turn then give us a call and bounce your ideas off us.

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