Upgrading your old devices: how much will you save?
Were a computer user from the early ‘80s be projected suddenly into the present day, he’d be astounded by how much IT has changed and advanced in the last 30 years. Computers are now incorporated into every area of our lives – both at work and at home. Many of us now even carry sophisticated computers around in our pockets in the form of smartphones and tablets. And all this has happened, and indeed is still happening, at breathtaking speed.
But it is this speed of IT development that presents a problem for business owners. Even if you’ve just got brand new desktop computers for your team, they are pretty much out of date by the time you’ve plugged them all in. Most technology needs replacing every few years simply to keep pace with all the upgrades in software, which itself needs ever faster processor capacity and more memory. Security is a problem, too, as many older machines can’t cope with the new IT threats lurking out there. The result of all this IT development is that your computers and laptops will start to run more slowly and hold back your productivity.
Of course, when you’re running a small business and have to keep a tight rein on your budget, new technology can seem very expensive. Isn’t it better to make do with what you already have? Well, the truth is that you can only put off replacing your IT for so long. Eventually, the cost of replacing these creaking computers, and the time their inefficiency costs you, will be greater than any short-term savings you make by choosing to not renew them.
There is a fine balance to be reached between the costs that come with upgrading your IT and the value gained by procuring newer, more secure and efficient devices that will boost productivity. So what you need is a real device upgrade strategy that helps you to make these decisions and manage costs effectively. It really is worth thinking all the time about the value you’re getting from your computers.
Measuring Return on Investment (ROI)
Ascertaining the ROI of your devices is complicated. You have to look at gains and costs over the life of a product, and this includes:
- Direct costs – purchase, management, support etc.
- End-user costs – associated with troubleshooting, fixing and training on devices
- Productivity gains – that you would achieve by taking the financial hit and upgrading to newer devices
It is also worth considering whether more mobile devices would boost your staff productivity. There are four factors to consider when calculating ROI:
How old a device is impacts on its productivity and how often repairs are needed. Consider how hard spare parts may be to find in the future, as well as the increased downtime that troubleshooting causes. You also have to consider security and compatibility issues, as old devices can’t deal with new threats or be properly configured with new software and hardware.
Consider life spans when you get devices and, if you can afford to, get high-end devices that tend to have more longevity and be more compatible with other applications.
This concerns how your staff use devices for their work, as well as the supporting costs. Workers need access to data and flexibility, but their devices also have to be secure and efficient. Primary devices such as laptops or desktop PCs usually need all the fundamental software used by your company, while secondary, often mobile, devices will need a reduced set of services.
Manage your primary devices carefully and proactively to maximize uptime, and ensure secondary support devices are secure to avoid data leaks.
Mobile devices can enhance worker productivity and flexibility, but tend to have shorter life spans and contribute greatly to your IT support costs. You may need to improve your Wi-Fi systems to support mobile devices, too.
Ensure your staff have the right mobile devices to do their jobs, and understand why mobile devices can be costly to manage and support.
Device management model
If you have many different devices of different ages, and which are used in different ways, then managing them becomes a more complex affair; some devices need more care and security than others.
More thorough management of devices helps reduce IT costs and improve security and productivity over time.
If you have considered all these factors contributing to your total cost of ownership, you can make a better informed decision about upgrading your IT. You know it will be expensive whatever happens, but there are also money-saving benefits to be enjoyed.
Direct IT costs
Looking after brand new hardware will be much cheaper, as less helpdesk support will be needed. Security costs should be lower, too, as new machines are more likely to have better protection against attacks.
Booting up, general speed and performance is faster with new devices, and less time needs to be spent troubleshooting devices.
The increased speed of newer devices, not to mention their mobility, will help improve productivity across the board.
With tech developing so fast, upgrading is something you’re always going to have to think about. But if you consider all the factors regarding the cost of ownership and ROI, you can strike the balance between the costs of upgrading and the value of increased productivity. Just remember:
Don’t wait for your computers to break down of old age. Be proactive and have a regular refresh cycle of around two to four years, depending on the device. This way, you cut down on support costs and slowing productivity that comes with aging devices, and you can prepare for the costs ahead of time.
Be more mobile
If you’re upgrading, work more mobility into your company workflow. Your workers can be more flexible and yet more productive with the right tools. The way we work is changing, and by adapting to this mobility now, you’ll save money in the future.
Have a well-managed device model
Make sure your devices are well managed so you know how they are performing at all times. Have them serviced to increase security and efficiency, and determine the priorities for your business operations when it comes to upgrading.
The ROI Estimator
We can’t tell you how much upgrading may save your company down the road. After all, every organization works in a different way and has different demands of its IT systems. But there are tools to help you get a rough estimate. One of these is Intel’s Refresh ROI Estimator, which can help you assess the value of an IT refresh to your company. If you enter specific information about your business and how you manage and support your staff, the Estimator can give you a basic breakdown of ROI and costs. You may find that those creaking old computers are costing a lot more than you think.
Of course, if you are thinking about upgrading your IT, or have any questions about the ROI of your current devices, get in touch with the team at Empower IT. We have the experience to help you get more out of your current setup and improve your workflow by incorporating the latest tech.