In today's connected, digital age, computer systems are the backbone that ensures companies and their employees succeed. But when that backbone fractures - or even breaks - your business could be left scrambling to find solutions.
Whether your company uses desktops, laptops or a combination of the two, you should seek to prevent hardware failure. That downtime too often results in needless delays in service for your customers and lost productivity for your employees.
Sometimes, regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs is the answer. In other instances, though, it's time to overhaul and replace.
Stay on top of your hardware's needs by knowing how to keep your computers operating efficiently and effectively - and knowing when it may just be time to upgrade.
While computer lifespan has increased in the last few years, it's still a good idea to plan ahead and expect that you'll eventually need to replace computers.
According to Chron.com, most PCs can be expected to last somewhere between three and five years, depending on how they're used, whether they're received upgrades over time and how often maintenance has been performed on the software the PC is running.
Chron.com notes a laptop's lifespan typically is also three to five years. Again, that depends on how it's used and how well it's maintained.
Land on the high end of the three- to five-year span by caring for your computers as you would any other business investment.
Make incremental hardware upgrades
If your computer's performance has taken a dive, you can make a few equipment upgrades to keep it from becoming obsolete.
PC World has noted that many users are electing to swap out older hard drives for SSDs, add more memory or upgrade graphics cards rather than replace a desktop or laptop entirely.
These smaller investments are often reliable methods of keeping your hardware's performance in check.
Other computer care tips
There are also simple caretaking steps users can take to keep their desktops and laptops in better working condition.
According to PC World, these include:
Though incremental care can be effective in expanding your computers' lifespans, they're still only delaying the inevitable need to replace.
Don't wait for your computer or other hardware to go completely dead before replacing it. That's a great way to find yourself in a time crunch. Computer's are likely vital to your company's daily productivity and success. If you're hardware is down, then you'll want to waste no time in seeking replacements.
Put off these critical decisions and you may end up needing to purchase a unit of a lesser quality - or at a higher price - than what you could have bought with a little more time and research.
Signs you need to replace computers
There are a number of warning signs that the time to replace a computer could be fast-approaching.
These are a few signs that Make Use Of suggests could be signaling the end of a computer's peak performance:
Another common sign it could be time for a complete computer upgrade is that repair bills are adding up - or that the next one is expected to be costly. At a certain point, it makes better financial sense to upgrade rather than keep performing maintenance on the same failing unit.
Overall, it's common to find companies - especially small and medium businesses - trying to expand the life of their computer systems. This approach has notable pros and cons, as Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has shared.
On the benefits side of the discussion is the increase in resources these companies can put toward other technology solutions, such as cloud services and mobile.
The risks of putting off upgrades, though, still apply here. Hardware simply can become outdated and end up costing companies more in the long run to replace.
There's certainly a balance to find when determining when it's time to replace a company's computer systems.
That's where having a reliable technology solutions partner can put your business ahead of the curve.
At Advanced Network Professionals, our staff is equipped with the knowledge and problem-solving skills needed to keep your company's computer systems up and running.
By equipping your team with the right hardware, ANP not only can help you make sure your IT infrastructure enhances operational efficiency, but also we can help you boost employee and company productivity, expand client engagement and boost profits.
The ANP staff is trained to evaluate computer systems, make recommendations on the best solutions and then - if you decide - purchase and install the best equipment to fit your company's needs. ANP will also deliver both short- and long-term IT infrastructure plans that fit your business needs.
That's just where ANP's wide-ranging technology consulting services begin, too.
Contact ANP to get started
Remaining on top of your company's computer hardware needs can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. With an organized approach to tracking your hardware's efficiency over time, you'll begin to see results through increased productivity and greater client and customer engagement.