Modern business is built on its IT infrastructure. Managing a fleet of efficient and updated workstations, laptops, and other business devices is a lot of work, but it is critical to the health of your overall IT network. Are your workstations working as efficiently and securely as possible? Four signs it is time for new computer hardware:
- You are regularly running out of storage space. If your staff routinely asks for external hard drives or are leaning on the cloud to store files rather than your old computers, it’s probably time for an upgrade.
- Employees are frustrated due to slow machines and lost productivity. Nobody likes downtime waiting on a document to load or having to close three apps just to open one.
- You can’t install the latest version of essential software. If your machines are aging, they may not allow you to install the latest software, stifling business efficiency and exposing you to cyber attack vulnerabilities.
- You are allowing some or all of your staff to permanently work remotely. Most of us spent the better part of the last year working from home and in most cases, doing so from personal or temporary hardware. If you are transitioning any of your staff to remote work permanently, you need to make sure the hardware they are using is appropriate for your overall network health. Remote hardware needs to have the same security and function as your in-house workstations.
While it is tempting to hold off buying new and instead opt to repair individual components within your hardware to get it working again, there are some big downsides to that strategy. Older machines may cost you more in the long term as the hardware loses more in productivity than the cost to replace it. And as already mentioned, dated hardware opens the door to security vulnerabilities. Older machines may not support the latest operating system and may even be at “end of life”, meaning you will not get critical security patches.
Generally, you should budget for a full replacement of your IT hardware every five years. Each item has its own lifespan of course, it would be rare to have to replace every piece of hardware you have all at once. If you plan to replace about 20% of your hardware annually, keeping up with your IT budget should be manageable.
Pearl Solutions Group has over 25 years of experience working with businesses to help manage healthy, efficient, and secure IT infrastructure that meets their individual needs and budgets. Contact us for a free network assessment.