This image shows old technology

The Hidden Costs of Old Technology

“They just don’t make them like they used to!”

This is a refrain we hear frequently when talking about technology.  It seems like obsolescence is designed into devices more every year.  When we find something that works well, we want to hang onto it as long as possible, but there are hidden costs of old technology.

It is human nature that if we have a tool that works well, we only consider it when we need to.  It’s not something on our minds all the time.  This is both a blessing and a curse, especially when we rely on it for so much of our business.

“It’s not that old!”

“Moore’s Law” once said that computer central processing units (CPU or Processor) would double in speed every two years.  The expectation is that we would see a new generation of computers every other year.  For many years it held up.  In the last 5 years or more, it is arguably not keeping pace, yet every 3 years or so we see a marked improvement in hardware performance.

Computer software makers wish to develop programs that take advantage of faster hardware, so you will see more features added with every new release.  These features are NOT always meant to run optimally on older hardware.

If we consider each generation an average of 3 years, your computer could be well behind the times and feeling slow within 6 years of purchase.  Think of it like dog years.  A dog’s elderly age could be 15 years old, and compared to humans, they age 7 years for each of ours.

A computer could be considered to age over 10 years to one of ours, and they’d need to retire at 60!

“It still works fine!”

Even older computers can stay running smoothly for years, but if a problem should occur, getting it back up and running might incur unforeseen costs and lost productivity.  Spare parts for old computers tend to get more expensive over time because manufacturers stop making them.

While the ’89 Toyota Corolla is long gone from the manufacturing lines, there are still 3rd parties making oil filters.  Not so with old computers, and the sources for old parts can be unreliable and have poor return policies.

“That computer is not important, it’s ok if it crashes.”

Just about the only problem with a computer that keeps on running well is that we take it for granted.   When our tools work properly, it’s easy to forget how important they are, especially a tool as versatile as a computer.

You might have some passwords saved on it you don’t remember anymore.  It might be the only computer in your office that does this one thing that you have to do once a month.  It could even be the only computer that works with your payment processing system.  All of a sudden that “expendable” computer is pretty darned important, and you won’t know it until it’s gone.

Replacing a computer is not a quick task.  In many cases, to save money you want to order it online, which takes days of shipping. Then you might need your IT person to come in and install software, perform configurations and assist the user with possibly new technology.

Save Money by Planning Ahead

A good IT partner, like Stewart and Son, can help your business plan for computer replacements before you lose hours in productivity and $$$ in unnecessary repairs or costly rush shipping.  Your IT professional should know the software you need on your computers, the hardware requirements needed and keep up to be aware of changes which might impact your business.

Your IT professional can work with you on a replacement schedule that makes sense to your business, achieving your profit and productivity goals.

Stewart and Son Computer Services offers a free 30 minute initial consultation on your specific business needs.

Wade Stewart is the Managing Member of Stewart and Son Computer Services, LLC in University Place, WA and serves as a trusted partner to many local small and medium sized businesses. 

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