According to research published by Our World in Data, technological advancements have been following an exponential curve for decades. Between innovations in processing, storage capabilities, and security of personal computers (PCs), as well as standard maintenance required to keep devices functional, you should plan to replace company hardware approximately every 4-5 years. Stretching the life of a machine only because it’s still running can be a costly and dangerous mistake. Here are three reasons why.

1) Outdated machines expose you to greater security risk.

If your hardware is old enough, likely, the manufacturer is no longer supplying security patches, updates, or support for your machine’s operating system (OS). This is significant, as a study from Tripwire found that nearly a quarter of all data breaches occurred due to unpatched vulnerabilities. Even worse, a single unprotected computer connected to your network can give hackers and malicious software easy access to every related device.

2) Legacy systems compromise your compliance.

Many industries enforce strict data management guidelines. For example, in businesses accessing HIPAA or PCI details, one of the basic requirements is that your data be stored in a supported environment. By running even one PC with an outdated OS and access to the network where these details live, you’re automatically out of compliance. In the event of a breach, your company could be held responsible for all damages and penalties associated with lost or stolen data. A breach can be unfavorable for the reputation of a giant like Target — but to a small business, it could be ruinous.

3) Aging hardware is less reliable.

From lower performance metrics to higher maintenance costs, aging hardware is less reliable than its newer counterparts. Estimates suggest that computers older than four years are costing companies significantly in terms of productivity and upkeep — to the tune of nearly $3,000 per device per year. 

New devices receive regular updates and support from manufacturers to keep them performing at a high caliber, and they come equipped with the latest and greatest in security measures, including data encryption and multi-factor authentication.

If you’re considering upgrading your hardware and don’t have an in-house expert, consider hiring a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to walk you through the conversion (especially if you’re replacing more than one PC at a time) and ensure that you get the most benefit from your investment — and have a plan to keep your devices relevant and safe going forward.

Is it time for your team to get new computers? Drop a comment below or contact us with questions about where to start.