Small Businesses Not Upgrading Old PCs
Small businesses are risking their productivity by not updating computers before they become outdated, research has found.
The survey of 600 IT managers in small firms by research organisation Vanson Bourne and published in the Mozy Technology-refresh pages found that 70 per cent failed to keep to the three-year “refresh cycle” for PCs as recommended by experts.
The study also revealed that the average age of a computer in a small business is five years and two months. Most small firms have abandoned scheduled refresh cycles due to the economic climate.
“The three-year refresh cycle is still something we would recommend — it’s the time over which a desktop PC will go from being average to being extremely slow.”
said IT expert Craig Sharp, managing director of Abussi Ltd, adding:
“Few small businesses can afford to do that, so owners tend to stretch that to four years or longer. By leaving their computers to age, they don’t have the opportunity to undertake a managed upgrade and may end up waiting until the computer fails.
“Most small businesses don’t see IT as an investment. They don’t see that reliability and uptime is more beneficial to them than crisis management and fire–fighting. If you have to crisis manage the fact that your computer is slow or has crashed then you’re unproductive.”
“The key thing is that IT hardware has never been cheaper. There are various ways that small businesses can reduce the immediate cost. They can do that by talking to their current IT provider and coming up with a delayed payment arrangement.”
Founder of small business Unity Comm, Simon Ghent, said:
“With cloud based solutions, the emphasis on the actual PC itself is dwindling.”
“Although we’re a long way off from getting rid of the operating system on the desktop, by moving to the cloud the refresh rate on PCs could be significantly extended. A small business needs to be flexible. With all our files online we can be anywhere in the world, but still have access to everything for our business.”
For further business advice on PCs for SMEs see our article Specifying and Purchasing IT.