It is hard to imagine life without computers in the workplace. More and more companies are relying on computers for a variety of tasks, from simple word processing to social media and project management.
Although computers began taking over the roles of vital office equipment just a few decades ago, more and more employees can no longer imagine life without their trusty PCs. Even a simple task, like typing a memo or business letter using a typewriter, may seem unimaginable to your ordinary office clerk.
Like it or not, computers have made even the most tedious office task bearable. As such, any disruption in your company’s computer infrastructure can translate to the loss of productivity, or worse, lost opportunities.
But like any company asset, computers (and associated services and products like email hosting services in Dubai) can take a substantial chunk off your budget. As such, it is necessary for business owners to know when to update or replace computer equipment.
Here are a few important considerations you should look into before making a decision.
The serviceable lifespan of a desktop or laptop will vary depending on different factors, including years of usage, and cleaning and maintenance.
On average, you should expect anywhere between three and five years of service from your computers. However, it is possible to extend the lifespan of a machine beyond this timeframe through timely upgrades and regular maintenance.
But all in all, you should expect the worst and take this into account when you are planning your purchase of computers.
Repair or replace
But what if a piece of equipment unexpectedly breaks down? Should you get it repaired or are you better off replacing it with the latest one available in the market.
According to a company specializing in IT services in Dubai, there are a few things that you should look into.
First, check how much a repair will cost your firm, especially if the damage is not covered by a warranty. Although it may sound counterintuitive, you can end up saving more money by purchasing new equipment. Furthermore, newer models may carry the latest features your old machine does not have.
Sometimes, repairing a computer is delaying the inevitable — you’ll be better off with a new device. To avoid wasting time and money, look for the following signs indicating the need for an upgrade:
- Hardware can’t accommodate a software upgrade
- Hardware is not compatible with the latest versions of apps
- The computer is too slow and noisy
- You need bigger disk space and memory
Repairs can be cost-savers, but only up until a certain point. Once that point has been breached, you’ll only rack up your repair bills, and you may end up spending more compared to investing in a new computer.
Taking into account company finances
Any investment should be studied carefully, including investment in computer equipment.
Sometimes, a few upgrades can make your old computers more functional. A WiFi adapter or a larger and faster hard disc are both cheap upgrades that can boost a PCs speed and functionality for a fraction of the cost of a new computer.
But in the grander scheme of things, a purchase can give you better ROI over the long term. For example, you can upgrade an old PC with a few of the latest parts for hundreds of dollars. But if you spend a few hundred dollars more, you can purchase a new PC with the latest features that upgrades can never equal.
In-house or outsource
The next inevitable question to ask is who’ll be performing the upgrades if you choose to go down that path?
Some upgrades are relatively simple so that anyone with basic knowledge about computers can perform them. But for more complicated tasks like replacing processors, you’ll be better off enlisting the aid of trusted IT professionals.
Preparing for the future
The question of when to replace or simply upgrade computer systems is by no means easy to answer, with different factors that need to be taken into account.
Many companies are trying to slow down their PC replacement cycle by extending the lifespan of their systems, and understandably so.
Timely upgrades, coupled with a sensible maintenance plan, can translate to substantial savings. In turn, these savings can be used for other investments, including software and related technologies.
However, business owners should avoid the temptation of delaying the need to replace their computers for the sake of savings. The money you save now can come back and haunt you in the form of additional costs for repairs, as well as lost productivity and opportunities.
Early on, develop a strategy for the acquisition and replacement of vital computer equipment. A long-term IT strategy, developed with the help of a trusted advisor, will help you make efficient use of available resources without compromising your company’s finances and competitiveness.
It’s all about finding the right balance between your computing needs and your finances, between the here and now and your company’s future.