How Long Does the Life of a Computer Span?

Depending on when you started with computer technology, personal computers were $6 or $7 thousand dollars and weren’t very mobile. A computer, at that time, was very limited in what it could accomplish, and did so relatively slowly. Peripherals were quite expensive, and not nearly as ubiquitous. The computer was a niche product, not the mass-market device we know today.

As it evolved over the years, it became more adept at multiple tasks. Its technology got better, faster, and cheaper. The range of programs it ran grew exponentially, and so did the amount of work it could help complete. Ultimately, the computer became personal and is now a staple in nearly every workplace.

How Long Will a Computer Last?

A computer that was purchased 5 or 6 years ago, has served out its purpose dutifully–as generally, that is the upper end of a machine’s serviceable life. At the end of that term, operating systems have been through generations of change, components have undergone philosophy changes, and overall systems have become more reliable, and very fast. But if an employee’s computer is still in the same state it was 5-6 years ago what does that mean?

My Device Is Older Than 6 Years, What Does That Mean?

For one, it means that the computer is probably running an operating system that is going to be out of support soon, if it has not already been earmarked as such. Therefore, that system is not provided with critical security updates or patches to remediate stability issues. In the real world, it means technicians who may know the root cause of an issue, may not being able to remediate the problem because the computer no longer has the ability to receive an update.

It also means that the machine is just flat out slow—chugging along every MINUTE of every day. I know of stories of employees that come into work in the morning, press the power button, then go make themselves a cup of coffee, just to avoid having to deal with waiting for their computer to ‘boot-up’- the same holds true throughout the day. The machine may only have enough memory to have a couple of web pages open alongside Excel and Outlook, so what happens? It freezes, requires a reboot, and the employee has potentially lost an hour or two of work. What’s even worse is when the old computer simply cannot handle a task that needs to get done. In those cases the employee will likely do less work because the device can’t handle it. And if that happens EVERY DAY, how much time is lost?

Is It Time to Upgrade?

Ultimately, a newer machine is smaller and cheaper than it was five years ago. This means it can actually be placed on a desk, and not under it (you know, near shoes that can kick it or knock cables loose, and away from static electricity because of the carpet it sits on). It will also perform better, and likely do so without a failure for quite some time. This will make both technicians and employees happy. And is that really such a bad idea?

As you are aware, technology is always impacting our personal and business lives. By working with a IT Managed Service Provider (MSP), you will have the guidance necessary to standardize your technology to improve productivity and operations.  Contact The TNS Group today to keep your competitive edge in the marketplace.

By: Pete Fuss, Engineering, The TNS Group