How Much Are Your Old Computers Costing You?

The Right IT Life Cycle Management Can Help You Save

old computersThere’s a saying Ronald Reagan used in some of his presidential speeches: “You can’t spend yourself rich.”

But when it comes to your computer systems at work, you can certainly save yourself poor.

Rather than saving money by holding onto old computer systems, you might be hurting yourself more in the long run because of the cost of constantly having to repair or upgrade inferior systems.

Q. Are you losing more on productivity due to downtime than you’re saving on not buying new computers?

If you answered “yes,” it might be time to find a firm that specializes in asset recovery solutions, and who will also help you replace your outdated computers in a environmentally safe way, and make sure you don’t leave any secure data behind.

If you’re reading along and thinking, “We can still get by,” consider this:

Sixty percent of small business customers think a company is outdated if it’s using 5 to 10-year-old computers or operating systems.

And that’s at a small business. We can’t imagine people would be more charitable to the computers at the hospital removing their mother’s gall bladder, or at the county office that’s handling their deed.

Customers want to know the people they’re dealing with are using up-to-date technology. Your employees want that reassurance as well. If they’re forced to do something on their iPhone because it’s faster than your computer, your system needs an upgrade. (It’s also bad for employee morale.)

There’s actually a term for this trend of employees taking their own tech to work. It’s called BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, and it’s been driven primarily by millennials entering the workforce.

“This new generation of workers has always used their personal devices in their school, and they have never been without these,” David Willis, the head of mobility and communications research for Gartner, told CNBC in 2013. “So they see it as a step backward when they enter the workforce and get a heavy computer or antiquated smartphone.”

Companies run the risk of losing good employees, the story says, by holding onto bad technology.

“This isn’t going away, it doesn’t matter how much you want it to be like 1996 again where everyone ran Windows on a Thinkpad. Those days are over,” security strategist Richard Henderson told CNBC. “Do it or stay mediocre.”

There are other costs in play, too

As blogger Dave Lazor points out:

    • Data security: The older your software gets, the riskier it is to use. It may not have been designed to be resilient against attacks, so strong data security is an absolute (and expensive) essential.
    • Migration/Installation: Many companies don’t have processes in place to retire out-moded software, so they essentially start from scratch with extensive migration and installation services.
    • Data Loss: Some IT problems stem from integrating different software applications. When one application is outdated, and the other is updated, they don’t communicate properly with one another. This leads to potential data loss as well as potential revenue loss.

If you want to put a number on the cost, try $8 billion. That’s how much outdated technology costs hospitals each year, according to a 2013 Ponemon Institute survey of healthcare and IT professionals.

The survey says it’s the result of a lengthy discharge process, which costs $3 billion, as well as another $5 billion lost through decreased doctor productivity and outmoded technology such as pagers.

“Organisations that try to sweat IT assets through extending their useful life will find that the business support provided by ageing equipment falls away rapidly to the point where IT becomes a constraint to the business, whereas those that attempt to always be at the leading edge by replacing equipment too often will find that IT costs will be too high for the business value provided,”

That’s Bell Labs, writing in a paper in 2012. According to them, finding the “sweet spot” between replacing equipment too often and not doing it enough is the key to IT life cycle management.

So once you’ve determined you need to replace equipment, what do you do?

You could take it to a computer recycling center, but that option isn’t always environmentally sound, and we’re talking about ways to save you money and keep your data secure.

Instead of a regular recycling firm, you could try an asset recovery solutions company.

At CWI, we help companies get the best possible value for retired, depreciated, or unwanted electronic equipment by selling through a network of deep and well-established channels that we’ve built as a trusted vendor of quality used equipment.

And our disposal services are second to none in keeping your data secure while recycling e-waste.

The idea of replacing a fleet of computers might seem daunting, but the alternative of losing time and money due to outdated equipment is even scarier. Sometimes you need to let an old piece of IT go so your company can thrive.

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