You may think it is important to your budget and productivity to maintain end-of-life office equipment, but it is not financially feasible or productive to your business to spend money continuously on equipment that is out of warranty. Unfortunately, most computers and tech hardware have a lifespan of five years or less. When you have a busy office, and this equipment is constantly in use, five years may be a generous estimate on that lifespan.
If you are having issues with a newer computer or printer, check your warranty. There is a chance you can get a replacement or reduced cost repair. If the equipment is older than five years or approaching five years, it is more financially feasible to think about a replacement.
How to maintain existing office equipment
When servers, workstations and other office equipment are used day in and day out, that equipment will eventually need maintenance or replacement. However, there are steps you can take, best practices to help maintain newer and viable office equipment for the full lifespan.
Best practices include:
- Making sure all equipment is plugged into a surge protector
- Making it a company policy to keep food and drinks away from office equipment
- Making sure data is continuously backed up in a compliant fashion in case of equipment failure—in this case, you are maintaining your files rather than the equipment
- Sending out gentle reminders to employees not to leave potentially hazardous supplies on top of the copy machine or printer—paper clips that can jam, binder clips that can fall inside the equipment
- Making it a company policy that equipment is not for personal use—equipment wears out through use. Allowing employees to use expensive equipment for personal use increases that wear and can shorten the lifespan of your equipment
- Keeping up-to-date virus protection on all computer systems
- Making sure firewalls are in good working order
- Making sure to install all critical software updates
- Scheduling yearly maintenance
When to stop trying to maintain end-of-life office equipment
If your equipment has reached the five-year mark or is approaching that mark, paying to keep it up and running can end up costing you more money than it is worth. Additionally, throwing money after the dated equipment has a negative impact on profits. It is time to think about updating.
When a piece of office equipment chugs through that final task and stops working altogether, it never happens at a convenient time—after hours, during a slow day at the office. After 28 years in the business, we know from experience that office equipment almost always fails at the worst possible moment or in the midst of heavy use, which translates to a busy day.
A computer that suddenly cannot make an appointment or complete a transaction for a client, for example, means the client may move on. A computer that continually stops or stalls during video conferencing eventually hurts your reputation. A computer that loses data can cost you a fortune. A machine that stops working during a substantial transaction or multiple small transactions is especially harmful. Ultimately, for a company to succeed you want to reduce downtime and increase productivity.
The potential loss of revenue outlined above—not to mention continuous office equipment repair bills—usually exceeds the cost of trying to maintain end-of-life office equipment. Besides, it is unlikely that every piece of office equipment needs upgrading at the same time. Taking careful inventory is critical.
At TCS, we are dedicated to helping companies maintain optimal business operations through IT. We can help you inventory and assess the age of your equipment, servers, and workstations. We can come up with the most-effective solutions for replacement and help you schedule equipment upgrades on a timeline that matches your cash flow. In other words, we can tell you when it is time to stop trying to maintain end-of-life office equipment.
Call today for a no-obligation consultation at 336-804-8449 or fill out this short form and one of our life cycle consultants will contact you to discuss the best solutions for your company.