How long is too long?

We’ve been looking at a lot of older computer gear lately. And by older, we do actually mean a few machines with “Designed for Windows XP” stickers! There’s many reasons why people hold onto their computer systems longer than they really should…

Maybe, the current computer is running fine (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it). There’s the cost of the new gear. Often, the hardware upgrade also requires upgrades to other software. Then, there’s the hassle and learning curve of what’s often going to be a new operating system and/or applications.

No one really wants to spend money fixing something that’s not broken, particularly if that’s going to come with expense, disruption and a learning curve.

But we’ve learned through the years that keeping up with technology is largely a matter of planning and executing upgrades according to the ‘3-4-5 rule’. Critical and high performing systems should be replaced every three years to be out in front on performance, maximize reliability and uptime, and keep up with changes in software.

Upgrade every four years -- and in most cases, you’ll be keeping up. Wait five years or more, and it’s very likely you’re already living with the performance and reliability issues that older technology can bring. If you have some proprietary software, chances are good your vendor is pushing or pulling you to upgrade. Waiting that long can also increase the time and complexity of the upgrade once it’s time to do it.

The extra year from four years old to five+ is where we spend much of our support time, trying to stabilize and/or squeeze a little more performance out of a system that really ought to be replaced.

Clients using our IT Vigilance service can often extend the effective useful life of their systems out another year or more; but ultimately no service is going to make a slow machine fast or able to run the newest software.

If you’d like us to review your computer systems inventory and help you stay ahead in business, by staying ahead in technology, let me know.