Now, my team and I are usually the first ones to tell you that good IT doesn’t always mean having the latest devices and equipment. You don’t need to upgrade your laptop each time a newer version is released. A new PC each year won’t make you more productive. That newly released tablet won’t affect the profit your business makes.

Good maintenance and monitoring should have the effect of an anti-ageing cream on your work device. Look after it well and it will do the same for you.

However… sometimes, it just makes good business sense to invest in new PCs or laptops rather than trying to get another year out of them. Knowing when that time is, can be the tricky part.

Older PCs and laptops cost more to maintain. The cost of ownership increases as they age – a little like cars. And of course, performance decreases over time.

The optimal refresh cycle for your devices is around 3 years.

Of course, you can get more out of your devices, but that can come down to a few factors, including the hardware itself. Regular

maintenance is key. Upgrade components and software, and make sure to keep it clear of dust and debris and you could push 5 to 8 years out of a PC.

A laptop is slightly different, because they become less capable of running advanced applications as they age. With good care, you can get between 3 to 5 years out of your laptop.

What you really need to consider is whether, as your device ages, the cost of issue resolution and maintenance outweighs the cost of acquisition.

Often, if a device is more than 3 years old it is cheaper to buy a new one.

• A 5 year old PC could cost twice as much to run as a new one

• A 4 year old PC suffers 55% more security incidents than in its first 3 years

When you look at it like this, the short term savings disappear. And it can be an expensive mistake to continue to run an older device.

So how do you know when it’s time to bite the bullet and buy new devices?

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