Ancient History: the hidden costs of ageing devices

- December 14, 2018

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, that is, 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 But eleven years on, such is the pace of progress, they feel like ancient history, having been superseded by even more capable bits of kit.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 lifespan for a desktop PC or a laptop, and it’s going into year four that the annual TCO starts to ramp up. So much so, in fact, that it works out 24% cheaper to lease a PC for three years, and then replace it with another leased machine for the next three, than to buy one and use it for six years.[1]


So it’s clear that using older machinery for however long it’ll last until it breaks is a false economy. But what makes maintenance, support or replacement costs especially painful is that you never know when they’re going to strike. As we all know, problems and failures always seem to happen at the worst possible time.[2]


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 kept, before being refreshed with a newer model. When combined with an IT lease plan that removes up-front purchasing costs from the equation, this can keep workers equipped with newer equipment that needs less maintenance, while at the same time reducing IT costs and making them more predictable.


That way, whether it’s a desk worker with a new computer, IT management freed from time-consuming maintenance, or a finance director who has better visibility of future IT budgets, everyone will want to do the Gangnam Style dance. Even if it is six 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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