The Life Cycle of Computers

May 20, 2010

Computers are an investment. When purchasing a computer people often look only at the original sticker price as the full cost. However, the total cost of computer ownership includes original hardware, original software, hardware and software upgrades, maintenance and labor.

There comes a point when it is no longer economical to put money into a computer to fix it. In general that is 3 to 4 years. Now, of course there will be exceptions and this is just a guideline that has been developed from years of experience working with computers.PC

The question remains, what happens to computers that are around 3 years old? Why do they need to be replaced? There are many reasons for this. First, after 3 years the likelihood of hardware failures is much greater, and the warranties for the hardware are often expired. Also, it is very likely that a lot of software will have been installed on the computer and as newer software comes out, it usually requires more powerful hardware to run it. This means that in order to run the latest software properly, you need to update the hardware. Newer computers lead to less frustration and more productivity saving your company in the long run.

We find that many businesses, especially non-profit organizations, opt not to purchase a new computer because of apprehension about up front costs. However over a three to four year period, the cost of not upgrading easily outweighs the initial investment not to mention the difference in productivity. These costs do not factor in frustration by the user. These inefficiencies play a role and should not be discounted when deciding whether or not to purchase a new computer.

Here is the bottom line: replacement of a computer should strongly be considered after three years of usage.

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