Here at ComputAssist, my mission is to remove technological barriers that stand in the way of you doing your mission. One barrier to accomplishing your mission may surprise you—old computers!

Typical computer lifecycles in large enterprises run as little as three years! Before the warranty expires, the machine is replaced. In small business, however, the norm is more like, “run it ‘til it’s dead!” Six or seven years is not uncommon, and I have seen as long as fifteen! Do you realize a strategy like that may actually cost you money?

A regular replacement lifecycle for computers will keep you up to date and avoid lost staff productivity. Doing the math it’s simple to see that a new PC can easily pay for itself in the first year by saving an employee just a few percent of his or her time every day. Not to mention avoiding downtime from hard drive and other system failures.

An example using typical numbers: 2.5% time saved x $20 per hour x 2,000 hours annually = $1,000.

That’s assuming a new computer saves the user just 12 minutes a day! And more efficient new hardware means you’ll likely also save on reduced electricity usage and lower building heat loads.

Granted, there are other factors to consider, like CapEx vs OpEx, the labor hours required for the replacement, and hardware and software compatibility issues. You’ll need to run the numbers for your office and make your own determination.

Consider making computing hardware a part of your budget and plan for replacements on a regular cycle. (Hint: if your PCs are still beige, this means you!) If three years is too short a cycle for you, consider a maximum of four or five.