Ancient History: the hidden costs of ageing devices

- October 27, 2023

Remember Gangnam Style? The crazy dance that took the world by storm, and was the first video on YouTube to be viewed a billion times? Feels like yesterday, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, it was eleven years ago.


Back in 2012, we were watching Korean sensation Psy do his thing on what was then the latest technology, like third-generation iPads and iPhone 5s. Well, apart from the really tech-savvy among us, who were able to get the full augmented reality effect through the connected lenses of the then-brand-new Google Glass eyewear. At the time, these were some of the most advanced devices available. But eleven years on, such is the pace of progress, they feel like ancient history, having been superseded by even more capable bits of kit. After all, augmented reality pretty much comes as standard on smartphones nowadays.


So anyone who is still hanging onto their 2018-spec phones and tablets is most likely persevering with ageing devices that are well short of the capabilities of their 2023 equivalents. Of course, people will have their own reasons for hanging onto these old things, including a reluctance to spend their hard-earned money on a replacement when the old one still (just about) works. However, that tactic overlooks the money and time that they then have to spend at the repair shop when it inevitably suffers problems.


The same principles apply to the hardware we use at work. If an employee is using a desktop PC that’s six years old, for example, the chances are that it’s slow, not very co-operative and needs IT support increasingly regularly. This generates greater maintenance and support costs that can eventually outweigh the cost of getting a new replacement device.


From a total cost of ownership (TCO) perspective, three years is generally the optimal lifetime for a desktop or laptop, and as it enters year 4, annual TCO begins to increase. According to The Fintech Times , which is the world's only newspaper specializing in financial technology, the total cost of ownership of a PC rises by up to 12.9% after 3 years of use.  Read more in our report Stop Buying IT . The warranty the manufacturer gave you when the PC was new is over. Using a PC until it breaks becomes a false economy, where you think you're saving money by maximizing the time the device is used. The costs that follow because of this are often overall not lower as is often thought. What makes maintenance, support or replacement costs particularly painful is that you never know when they're going to strike. As we all know, problems and errors always seem to happen at the worst possible times.


There is a solution to these financial headaches: IT lifecycle management. Why? Because it can help a business define exactly how long each device is used, before replacing it with a newer model. When combined with an IT leasing plan that removes upfront purchase costs from the equation, this can keep workers equipped with new and up-to-date equipment that requires less maintenance, while reducing IT costs and making them more predictable.


That way, whether it's an office worker with a new computer, an IT administrator who is freed from time-consuming maintenance, or a CFO who has a better overview of future IT budgets, everyone will do the Gangnam Style dance. Although it's years old and would look absolutely ridiculous if you did it now.


Learn more about how Technology Lifecycle Management can cut and streamline your technology costs.


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