The Hidden Costs of Old Computers

How much does a new computer cost? For most business enterprises, it could be anywhere from $500 to $1,500. But the real question should be, how much does an older computer cost? The obvious answer is nothing, since it’s already been paid for. However, if you consider a computer’s total cost of ownership (TCO), the real answer might surprise you.

TCO was the focus of the second webinar, “Lower TCO with Remote Management,” in our four-part Business Devices Webinar Series. As the name implies, TCO considers the whole enchilada, not just upfront acquisition costs: overhead, risks, strategy, training, and energy costs, to name a few. These costs can make a huge difference in a company’s profitability.

Studies have shown that TCO for a computer even just a few years old can equal the purchase price many times over—if not higher. The “sweet spot” for optimal performance and TCO is a mere 3 years, as Intel PC fleet manager John Mahvi explained in the webinar. After that, all sorts of ugly problems rear their heads: Hardware starts to fail, driver issues and application conflicts appear, and extended warranty costs mount.

In addition, explaining a study comparing the cost of a 5-year-old legacy desktop tower to two desktops with Intel technology, Principled Technologies’ John McMains shared that the new technology lowered repair costs by a whopping 98 percent. And that’s not all; employee downtime, IT labor costs, and energy expenses were all greatly reduced.

New devices powered by Intel vPro technology lower TCO not only because new machines require less maintenance, but also because they make remote IT management easier than ever. As we all know, IT labor costs can be hefty. Intel AMT, keyboard-video-mouse control, and other features in Intel Core vPro-based devices eliminate or dramatically reduce in-person repair visits and allow quicker, more efficient ways for IT to upgrade and troubleshoot computers remotely.

During the interactive Q&A portion of the webinar, participants were invited to chat with our host experts, asking questions on topics such as the best way to present TCO to decision makers, and how to get help with remote management. Here are a few of our favorites:

Q: Are there resources online that I can share with my customers to encourage a technology refresh every 3 years?

Mayura Garg (moderator): Yes. There are several ROI calculators and studies available. This report discusses the advantages of a 3-year refresh. We recommend this great calculator to help assess your ROI for a PC upgrade.

Q: Our clients do not seem to be interested in PC refresh as much as they are in saving money.

John McMains (host expert): Here is the approach we take: The key is to show them the potential cost savings of upgrading or, if nothing else, the fact that refreshing is often no more expensive than not upgrading—and leads to happier employees, I think!

Q: What is the relevant site to access remote management of the device?

Billy Ladd (host expert): Once provisioned, remote management of the device is accomplished through a management console on the same network. There is no outside site required.

Q: How can I tell if the systems on my network are vPro-enabled?

Billy Ladd: Download our setup and software configuration here.

All webinar participants were entered into a drawing for an Intel-based tablet or a set of SMS Audio BioSport smart earbuds. Congratulations to winners Donald G. Newton, Jr. for scoring the tablet, and Gilbert Staffend for winning the earbuds!

If you were not able to join us, you will have another opportunity to tune in November 19 at 10 a.m. PST. During next month’s webinar, we will explore how Windows 10 operates in tandem with the latest Intel Core vPro processor-based devices to boost productivity, security, and management. If you’ve already registered for the Business Devices Webinar Series, you’re all set: Just click on the link in the reminder email you’ll receive a day or two before the event.

Need to register? You can do so here and we would love to have you join our next session. And, in case you want to rewatch or watch it for the first time, the “Lower TCO with Remote Management” webinar is now ready for on-demand viewing.

There are so many ways new business devices can help your organization lower costs, decrease headaches, and explore new possibilities. Visit to find out more. And, when you’re ready to begin looking for the right device to lower your company’s TCO, check out this Battle Pack‌ offer from Insight that allows you to try before you buy. Lenovo’s handy comparison guide also provides great information on finding the right device.

Our next webinar will be here before you know it. We look forward to continuing to bring you some of the brightest minds in the business, as well as discovering not only what’s on your mind, but how we can find solutions together.