Stretching out the refresh of PCs and notebooks can end up costing organizations more money over the long run than if they were to replace systems now that are three or more years old, said Robert Crooke, vice president and general manager of Intel‘s Business Client Group, during a Webcast on the economic implications of refreshing PCs.
The economic dowturn has convinced a lot of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to put off PC and notebook refreshses to cut costs, but according to data from a Techaisle report, the average cost per year to maintain a three-year-old system is $500 (US), while the maintenance costs for a newer PC is only $125. According to Crooke, the return on investment for a new PC can be seen in less than one year.
“Theyre looking at making compromises in investments for security for their products. Or they’re worried about stretching out their budgets and avoiding refresh of their PC platforms,” Crooke said. However, he said it’s more cost effective on the organization to purchase new PCs instead of stretching out the refresh cycle.
With SMB IT budgets growing 4.6 per cent this year, approximately 50 per cent medium-sized businesses are refreshing PCs on their traditional cycle and 70 per cent of small-sized businesses are doing so. Meanwhile, 40 per cent of medium businesses and 25 per cent of small businesses are putting off refreshes and holding onto their PCs for longer periods of time.
That poses a problem — not just in terms of costs, but also in terms of business interruption, Crooke said.
“And extending replacement time can cause more security incidents,” he said. The research found that PCs that are three years old or more are 28 per cent more likely than newer PCs to have security incidents, and older notebooks are 58 per cent more likely to have security incidents than newer notebooks.
There’s also a dramatic difference in the failure rate of hard drives, motherboards, network cards and power supplies, he said.
“And your warranty will tend to run out after three years, so you’re going to have to do more repairs in an out-of-warranty scenario. So the costs of your maintenance go up in all of those areas,” Crooke said.
Newer system also offer the ability for workers to be more productive because they’re more responsive and, in the case of notebooks, have better battery life.
“They recover that cost of a new system very quickly because the maintenance of that new system is going to be much, much lower,” Crooke said.
Intel recommended that businesses use a three-year PC/notebook refresh cycle.