The short answer is every 3-5 years. Your IT Support Company should be able to help you track the ages of your machines. When they meet with you quarterly, you should review this so you can budget for replacement when the time comes. Part of using a Managed Service provider should include these quarterly business reviews.
You may wonder why things need to be replaced that often at work, when your home computer is much older. The reason behind this number is two-fold. The first reason is that you are running a business with these computers, and it would be okay to assume they are used much more than the computers at your house. Not to mention, if your home computer dies it won’t keep you from running a business. The second reason is that technology changes. Older computers have older processors, hard drives, motherboards and therefore can run slower or have compatibility issues. Older computers also run older operating systems (think Windows 7 vs. Windows 10). At a certain point this becomes a security risk. Hackers look for computers that are running old operating systems as easy targets for cyber-attacks.
Cost: The hidden costs of having older computers are employee downtime. For example, if something is running really slow, or required regular reboots this is slowing down your team’s productivity. Even worse, if your server is old and it crashes, your business could be down for several days or even weeks before you can get another server. Another hidden cost is the cost of a security breach because you had outdated operating systems on your computers. Keep these costs in mind when you are thinking you can run off your older computers a little longer. You may be cutting your nose off to spite your face.
Budget: Small Business owners should plan on replacing the computers in their office every 3-5 years. We set the standard of we start talking about it at 3, make sure the budget includes it at 4, strongly encourage immediate replacement at 5 and will not work on computers over 6 years old. One way to help stay on this schedule is by renting the computers instead of buying them out right. Our rental program allows you to pay a monthly fee for your computers and support and every 4 years we come out and replace them and you keep paying the same fee. This helps with cash flow and makes this an operating expense rather than a capital expense.
If you would like us to review the ages of your computers, or are interested in our rental program, call us at 844.260.5020 or fill out our contact form.