Using an older PCs saves money, but there is a point at which it can hurt business operations.

In a study of small businesses, Intel says that four years is generally the max before PCs start wearing on a business:

“On average, employees lose 21 more hours by using a PC that is four years or older due to time needed for repairs, maintenance and security issues as compared to PCs that are less than four years old. Repair and maintenance are 1.5 times more frequent on PCs that are four years or older.”

And how long are small businesses keeping PCs on average?

According to Intel’s survey, “small businesses are holding onto PCs significantly beyond the recommended refresh date, with more than 36 percent owning PCs that are more than four years old.”

Here are some signs that it might be time to update or replace some tech devices in your business:

Employee Productivity Is Suffering

Staff can be less productive if they are having to waste time waiting for a slow computer or system to load. If employees are unable to work while the system is down then this can be a waste of valuable time.


Perhaps one of the most obvious signs of outdated technology is the amount it’s costing you to keep it running smoothly. Even if you’re not paying a ton in maintenance and repair bills, it could still be that your older technology is holding you back from cost savings of newer technology. After all, modern technology tends to be more efficient (especially cloud-based technology).

Security Problems

As technology ages, security vulnerabilities are exposed, which means the older a technology is (or the longer it goes without being updated), the more vulnerable it typically is from a security standpoint. Newer versions of software, for example, often include security patches that have been acknowledged, fixed, and pushed with the latest version. If you never upgrade to the latest version, those security holes don’t get fixed. Over time, security gaps can add up, making your outdated technology more and more vulnerable the longer you hold onto versions of the past.

So, if your computer is getting more viruses or you find yourself paying IT resources to fix more security issues, it could be a sign it’s time to upgrade.


Do your computers, server, or other systems crash on a somewhat regular basis? Do you find yourself having to reboot because things “freeze” or “lock up?”

Another potential culprit for crashes and downtime could relate to security issues, which also can point back to outdated technology. Regardless of the exact cause, excess downtime due to consistent crashes or freezes are almost certainly a sign it’s time to start looking into updating your technology.

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