Why You Need a Computer Replacement Schedule


Surprise expenses for any business owner are the worst. Computer replacement costs often fall into this category but, they don’t need to and adopting a more strategic approach to technology replacement can save a lot of headache further down the road and can help you make every IT £ you invest, really count.

Ultimately, all computers will fail as technology has a maximum lifecycle. Planning for this ‘end of life’ is the best approach to minimise the damage from failures. Many companies do factor in the cost of repair but fail to plan for replacement and this often results in much greater expenses over the long-term.

The standard recommendation for a computer or server replacement is three to five years. Some systems last longer and others shorter, depending on the system and how it is used. Often, as computers age, we acclimate to the declining performance and don’t realise how much slower our computers have become, or how much disruption they are actually causing — all the more reason for business owners to take a step back and look at their technology on a regular basis.

Older machines hinder productivity while in use due to difficulty running multiple applications at once as well as establishing and maintaining remote connections. They also consume more energy and have shorter battery life. Newer systems add minutes back throughout your day and cut costs in areas like these that you might not be considering.

It makes sense to want to maintain the equipment you already have, but when it comes to technology, new is eventually the way to go and planning out the life of your systems will allow you to replace them strategically before they start to eat into your bottom line.

There are a few different approaches companies can make when planning out their replacement schedules.

  • Time-Driven Policies – A time-driven policy simply replaces computers on a fixed schedule (usually every three to four years). This has the highest direct capital costs but is usually most appropriate, particularly when considering servers because of the impact of data loss, crashing or downtime. This also is the easiest approach for budgeting purposes because you can allot the monies well in advance.
  • Performance Drive – Replacing a computer when performance drops below a predetermined level. This is still a bit reactive and, even if taking this approach, allotting money for these replacements is still necessary. This is still much better than waiting till the system breaks.
  • Replacing systems ‘as-needed’ makes sense only for the very smallest organisations where a high tolerance for downtime exists and the budget is very small.

Things also to consider in setting up your IT replacement plans are not only when the system will be aging but also whether or not you have any software upgrades that also need to happen. Planning these two upgrades simultaneously can have advantages including minimising the number of interruptions to your team and also ensuring that your software won’t be surpassing your computers and forcing an upgrade down the road due to lack of compliance.