The decision of whether to keep old network equipment or replace it with newer products is a challenge most businesses face every few years. The current rate of technological advances mean that if you are using computers and hardware that are over 5 years old, then you really should be evaluating their efficiency and performance.

In this article, we discuss the main issues to consider when analysing your current equipment, which will then help to inform you if an overhaul is really necessary.

Have Regular Assessments

We advise our customers to review their computer hardware on a yearly basis, and to analyse their products against the business goals. Here are some questions that may prove useful:

  • What have you achieved with the equipment this year?
  • What issues have there been?
  • Do you expect the business to grow in the coming year? If so, by how much
  • Will new machines be required to complete new work that is planned?
  • Can the existing equipment cope with future projects?

Next, consider your satisfaction with the current hardware – is the equipment generating more revenue than it is costing the business? If you think it should be more productive, then further purchases or a better understanding of the existing systems may be needed.

Ask Your Staff

Employees who work with the hardware on a daily basis are the people who know exactly how it is performing, so be sure to consult them in any review. Their frustrations or satisfaction with the equipment are things that you need to be aware of – poorly performing machines are a major cause
of lost productivity!

The feedback you gain from staff could indicate that the office needs more of one type of product and less of another. It is also possible that new purchases are not required, but more investment is needed on adequate staff training. Time will have to be set aside for further training, but if it brings an improvement in performance, then it is a necessary step to take.

An additional benefit of consulting employees is an increase in trust and a better perception of management.

Safety Issues

As with technology, the standards and laws relating to health and safety are continually being updated. Older equipment can sometimes expose workers to higher risks than more modern, safer hardware, and it is also worth thinking about the costs of maintaining older products to ensure they
stay legal.

Could an improvement in safety and staff welfare actually increase profits?

For example, blue light emitted from computers can cause headaches and eye strain, potentially contributing to sick leave. Purchasing new physical screen filters would reduce the chances of this happening. Similarly, if a new product has launched that contains a major safety improvement,then
it may make sense to upgrade as soon as possible.

The long-term health and safety benefits, and enhanced employee performance may well be worth the upfront cost.

Before you upgrade any equipment, a second opinion is always a good idea – it is possible that some hardware could be adapted and may not need replacing. Our Free Network Audits are available to businesses within the UK, and offer a chance to get the advice of our qualified IT professionals.