Why Older PCs Are Going to Cost You

Managing the Changing IT Landscape: PC Refresh

It’s an exciting time to think about upgrading devices. Innovative technologies around the industry are now targeting business usages, and they deliver exactly what employees want and IT needs. But it’s more than just leveraging the latest and greatest. Older PCs can end up costing far more in the long run.

When you consider the top reasons for replacing aging PCs, it’s worth taking a closer look at all the factors that impact total cost of ownership (TCO). Aging technology costs add up, whether they’re due to IT support time or lost productivity for users, and it has an impact on the bottom line.

Factors in the Cost Spectrum

While PCs age, the factors that drive business benefits for upgrade have not. I re-read this paper from 2010 about total cost of ownership and setting a strategy for optimal PC life-cycles in the enterprise.  The following three cost factors are still applicable:

  • IT costs increase with age. These life-cycle costs run from IT expenses, like software installation and ongoing support, to end-user costs such as training and downtime. There are also costs associated with lost productivity: Increasingly complex software, cloud-based applications, and even Internet downloads can slow the performance of older hardware.
  • Mobility equals productivity. While notebooks and convertibles are more expensive than desktop PCs due to increased wear and tear, they meet users’ mobility needs and can ultimately drive productivity across the business. And these productivity gains can quickly balance out the initial costs and deliver even greater value.
  • Data security remains critical. Older PCs are more susceptible to the latest security threats, and breaches can be costly. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs also add risk, since many BYOD devices may be older, and it’s difficult for IT to manage the security level. According to a Leapfrog article, 81 percent of Americans use their personal mobile devices for work, which means the risk is significant.

Device Management Models Matter

Each IT organization selects device management models that range from fully managed, enterprise-provided devices to unmanaged devices, and everything in between. While the perception can be that an unmanaged BYOD model is more cost-effective, the opposite is true: Well-managed devices often result in lower life-cycle costs.

I recently had the opportunity to explore some more recent research on how management models can impact costs. This research provided extensive information on the costs of desktops, notebooks, and tablets in the enterprise, including comparisons between the different categories of management models used by IT organizations. For insight on your PC refresh strategy, download the Notebook Total Cost of Ownership: 2013 Update from Gartner, brought to you by the Intel IT Center.

PC Refresh_Management Models Intel IT Center.jpg

With these insights in mind, I have been working with colleagues in the Intel IT Center to create some new materials around PC upgrade, including an estimator tool to help determine return on investment (ROI) and a refresh planning guide.

How and when does your organization decide to replace aging PCs?

#ITCenter #PCRefresh #ITefficiency