We see it all the time – companies procrastinating when it comes to buying new technology. Who can blame them? It’s always a tough choice when new options are springing up constantly and pricing changes just as frequently. On top of that, the shelf life for new tech is not staggeringly long. On average, it’s recommended that companies use servers for 3-5 years before replacing them. That’s not a long time for such a large financial commitment!
So if that’s true, why not use your technology longer?
Well, you might actually be losing money if you take that stance. This is why:
- Vulnerability: Your old tech could be putting your data at risk. Over a long enough period of time, hackers will always find flaws and exploits to take advantage of. Once tech reaches its end of life, it’s even more at risk, since security updates are no longer provided. According to a study by IBM and Ponemon Institute, “2015 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis,” the average cost of a data breach in a company is $3.79 million.
- Performance: This doesn’t sound like a big deal, because it doesn’t directly cost anything, right? What about your staff’s time – is that free? Old technology runs slow and is expensive to fix. Studies suggest that it costs $780 per year to support one installation of Windows XP, compared to $168 per year for Windows 8. Supporting Windows Server 2003 could cost upwards of $200,000 per year. That’s a much bigger price tag than buying new tech.
- Capabilities: Growth capacity is always important when running a successful business. When using old technologies, companies lack the ability to keep up with competitor efforts and scale appropriately. Plus, old technology can be incompatible with any new technology you choose to adopt. The last thing any business wants is to say no to a job because they aren’t able to handle it.
- Assess: Consider how old your current technology is. What operating system are you using? When did you buy your hardware? A full audit of your current situation will help you decide whether it’s time to buy, and what you’ll need.
- PCs and laptops should be used for 3-4 years, and definitely no more than 6 years.
- Servers should be used for 3-5 years, and no longer than 7 years.
- Routers and switches should be used for 4-5 years, and no more than 10 years.
- Software is on a case-by-case basis. Check to make sure that you’re still getting security updates. Also, if there have been several newer versions, it’s probably time to switch.
- Shop: With technology, it’s always best to buy direct, or from a certified reseller. This is because they will generally be able to provide better buying advice, higher quality support, along with assistance integrating the solution with your current technology.
- Dispose: This might sound like a given, but once you’ve decided on new hardware, you will need to think about what to do with the equipment you’re replacing. In many states, it’s illegal to just throw hardware away. It has to be properly disposed or recycled through approved vendors. Even looking past the legality of the matter, your important data is stored on that equipment, posing a security threat.
If you’re looking for an IT asset disposition (ITAD) company, we recommend eLoop to help with the devices you’re retiring. They process working and non-working devices, and sanitize or destroy hard drives and electronic media. They provide value in refurbishing and reselling devices, and they are environmentally compliant.
Spring is right around the corner. Don’t forget to clear out your old technology with the rest of your spring cleaning.