Don't throw your PC out the window! Upgrade business IT hardware instead

It’s so frustrating when you’re in the middle of a piece of work, or an important video call, and all of a sudden your computer stops playing ball. We’ve all had it at some point, even us IT professionals. Sometimes we can do things to speed machines up, other times they’re simply too old and can’t cope with the speed of new software. It might not seem like a big thing, but a few ill-timed freezes a day can seriously harm productivity, and be losing your business money without you even noticing. We’re here to talk about when and how to upgrade business IT hardware.

How often should you upgrade business IT hardware?

As a general rule, desktops and laptops should be replaced every five years. This isn’t entirely prescriptive, as usual, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but it’s a good rule of thumb if you aren’t sure where to start.

Five years isn’t just plucked out of thin air. The reason most IT professionals say this, is because five years is usually the point at which there’s “no point” fixing a machine. It’s likely to have degraded and be too slow for efficient work even with fixes, it most likely won’t be running an operating system that is still supported by its supplier, and if it’s unsupported it won’t be receiving critical security updates. This can leave machines vulnerable, without anyone realising!

New software is being developed all the time, and it is always built with a certain specification in mind when it comes to running optimally on a machine. A computer that is five years old or more, is unlikely to meet these specifications leaving the software to either function poorly or not work at all – a productivity nightmare!

Does it cost lots to upgrade business IT hardware?

This depends on how big your business is, and how many machines you have to upgrade. However, you don’t have to do it all in one go – there is another way!

By creating an “upgrade plan” with a view to replacing 20% of your IT hardware per year, you can be in complete control of your budget as well as minimise the amount of disruption your employees are likely to face.

Taking a rolling approach is usually a good fit for most businesses anyway, as the IT infrastructure in any business is usually made up of machines that are all different ages and specifications depending on when the user first started, and what the budget was at the time.

Signs your computer has had it

If you regularly hear swear words muttered quietly or threats of throwing PCs out of the window, then that’s a pretty good sign that your employees are struggling.

They could be using machines that are regularly running out of storage, which often stops critical functions from working. Maybe it won’t run the latest software properly, causing them to restart their PC multiple times a day. They could also be behind on security updates because people don’t want to press the button and break the machine!

Sometimes repairs are possible, but it reaches a point where it’s more cost-effective in terms of both money and time, to get a new one.

If you’re already thinking about it, now is a good time to look at upgrading your equipment before the end of the tax year in the UK.

How to upgrade business IT hardware

This seems like it could be a headache, but honestly, it couldn’t be easier – that’s what geeks like us are here for!

If you’re not sure where to start because everything was purchased at different times, you can contact your IT provider to come in and do an audit for you, and create a recommended upgrade schedule.

We don’t make a lot of money from providing hardware, we do it to make sure that our customers are getting the best spec for their money, making it easier for us to support, so you can be safe in the knowledge that our audits are only carried out with you in mind – we won’t recommend that you upgrade a perfectly good machine, just for our own gain!

If you’d like more information or help with this, please do get in touch. That’s what we’re here for.