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How often should you update your IT hardware?

1 year, 3 years, 5 years, just how often should you be looking to replace your office PCs and IT hardware? While investing in new equipment can be very expensive, failing to upgrade systems could lead to a loss in productivity as well as expensive maintenance and repair costs. In this blog, we’ll highlight some of the warning signs that your IT hardware is due an upgrade and run through when the optimal time is to upgrade equipment.

Signs that you need to upgrade your hardware

From your PCs to your file servers and your printer, most businesses rely on their IT equipment and it’s only when it starts to go wrong that they realise just how essential it is. And, while you can’t predict when something will suddenly break, spotting the signs that your hardware needs upgrading is much simpler.

Performance slow down

One of the first signs that you could be due an upgrade is a drastic drop in performance completing normal business tasks. As it ages, hardware tends to slow down which is often made worse by updates to software which require additional resources for them to run efficiently. What started off as a middle of the road computer 3 years ago would now not even compete with the lowest specification new PC.

Increased operating costs

Older IT equipment costs more to run and maintain than newer equipment. From your office server to your business workstations, over time these are likely to need far more maintenance than new systems to keep them running efficiently. While this might not be an issue if you have an in-house IT department, for smaller companies this will often involve paying additional charges unless you have a comprehensive IT support package.

Employee frustration

This is a clear indicator that your hardware is not up to the job at hand. If your employees are getting frustrated by slow systems and poor performance and being vocal about it then you should probably be listening to them. If you notice that employees are doing tasks differently to avoid using slow systems then it’s time to look at where the problem lies and if faster IT equipment would be beneficial.

Changing business needs

Sudden changes in business needs can expose flaws in your IT system and highlight where you need to invest in new hardware. The current Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated this with many businesses being forced to work remotely and not having the equipment that allows them to do this. Investing in the right infrastructure and IT systems can help you overcome changing business needs and make your workforce more flexible.

Security threats

Older systems are less secure than newer systems, especially those that have reached end of life status. Some hardware just can’t be upgraded to run the latest software and security patches which makes it a lot less secure and more vulnerable to online cyber threats.

When should you invest in new IT hardware?

If you are experiencing any of the problems listed above then it is absolutely time to start upgrading your IT equipment. Even if you are not experiencing issues, upgrading your equipment every 3 – 5 years will help to ensure that you are able to run the latest software and most equipment will still be under some sort of manufacturer warranty during this period.

And, just because you are upgrading doesn’t mean that you need to buy new equipment, if your systems and hardware are outdated then buying a refurbished PC that is a couple of years old will work out a lot cheaper, especially if you are upgrading a lot of equipment all in one go.