Replacement of your Business Technology: How often is best and why?

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An image of an obsolete all in one computer, obviously in need of replacement.

Nothing lasts forever. This is as true of technology as it is of anything else. So when should you start looking for replacement technology? The average computer in the US is six years old. This might makes sense at home for expense reasons, but it’s far less than ideal in the office.


Most tech comes with a warranty that lasts about a year by default. Professional grade machines often allow you to extend this. At this time, the longest professional warranties are usually 5 years long. Why is this? Because computers generally become obsolete after that time frame. Also, after 5 years, some of those components will be wearing out. Five years is about as long as a business computer should be used without replacement, and an active warranty can save you a ton of money.

At that five year mark, when the warranty expires, every bit of damage and loss costs you money and time. Your broken computer will prevent you from doing what you need to do. The costs for labor and any new parts required to fix it will come directly out of your pocket.

Wear on parts.

After years of use, there are wear concerns for both laptop and desktop computers. For a laptop, the first component to wear out will be the battery. This is normally not a huge concern for most users, as they can still operate with the laptop plugged in. However, next to go will be the hard drive. An aging hard drive can fail without warning, taking your data with it. Replacement hard drives can be costly, and improper backup solutions can mean that some data is lost in the process.

For a desktop, the first victim of old age tends to be the power supply. Though normally they just fizzle out, sometimes a power supply failure can be quite spectacular, ending in smoke or even flames. As with laptops, the next piece to need replacement in a desktop is usually the hard drive. And, as with laptops, a failing hard drive can spell disaster for data, and your bottom line.

Obviously computers aren’t the only pieces of technology used in most offices. Routers, phone systems, even security cameras all have an expected life span of around 5 years. Using them longer can subject you to random failures, slow network speeds, dropped calls, or worse. These, too, require regular replacement.

So when should I replace it?

We recommend that you replace your hardware on a 5 year cycle. For most businesses, that means everything is refreshed at once every 5 years, though some choose to stagger replacement.

Isn’t this just a way to sell more hardware?

After 15 years in business, we have found time and again that clients who don’t replace their technology regularly come to regret it. They spend more time, more money, and lose more productivity than those who stick to a 5 year replacement schedule.

If you’re long overdue for a tech refresh, Problem 86 is here to help. Contact us today for an evaluation. We can identify all your tech replacement needs and give you a clear path forward. We can even recycle your outdated technology afterward!


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Project Coordinator, office mom, research queen.
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