How frequently should a business be replacing their laptops?

A number of factors including productivity, security and costs come into play when deciding whether it is time for you to replace the laptops in your business. Xenex share their educated opinion here so that you can make a smart choice for your business.

IT Providers and their customers often have disparate thoughts around how frequently their equipment should be replaced, so let’s look at the factors that impact this so you can make an educated assessment when constructing your budgets.

While some businesses or employees may be more tolerant for older laptops and hardware than others (imagine comparing a designer using CAD programs or Photoshop, with a receptionist who is far less technical and has simple word processing requirements) a safe rule of thumb we like to apply for Xenex clients is between 3-5 years.

The justification behind this timeline can be seen in the following issues which staff and IT providers alike find frustration in:

Security
As soon as new technology is released, someone is close behind figuring out how to compromise its security. Outdated software and hardware on a computer can put your company at risk of ransomware and malware attacks as well as data breaches.

Productivity Losses
The spinning wheel of doom and the fan that makes your laptop sound like it’s about to take off are solid signs that your laptop is beginning to fade. Particularly when using newer versions of common software, a laptop will draw on more resources such as CPU, memory, storage and graphics in order to operate. In addition to the immediate productivity losses waiting for your laptop to sort itself out, inevitable staff frustration extends these losses as they may leave their desk altogether or be forced to restart the task from scratch.

Hardware failure
Despite good maintenance extending the life of a laptop somewhat, hardware failures are inescapable. As your machine grows older, these will become more difficult and more expensive to the point where outright replacement may be more cost-effective. In some instances, repair will not be possible at all if parts are no longer available.

Software obsolescence
As a newer version of software is released to suit the latest hardware in the market, software developers will typically cease providing support through updates, upgrades and fixes for older hardware. This means that your older laptops may have restricted functionality or not be able to use this software at all.

Tax benefits
Depreciation can be claimed on newer machines so the tax benefits of replacing your laptops more frequently can be appealing to many business owners. In some cases this depreciation can be claimed up front in the year of purchase, rather than incrementally over years.

For many businesses, laptops are the centre of our work universe and although we recommend replacing your equipment regularly, we will always work with you to ensure that the maximum life of your equipment has been realised.

Working with a Managed IT Service provider like Xenex means we can run diagnostics and determine whether repair or replacement is your best option. We’ll also discuss your requirements so that you can appropriately balance costs with productivity, getting you the best possible outcome.

To use Technology for Smarter Business, contact our team today.

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