Organizations typically rely on plenty of hardware — from computers and mobile devices to printers and routers — in order to accomplish day-to-day tasks. So if any of these devices perform poorly or break down, the business's operations could suffer a serious blow. That’s why you need to ensure that all of your company’s IT equipment is always in tip-top shape, which means performing hardware upgrades and refreshes regularly.
Hardware upgrade involves adding or swapping supplementary components of existing equipment to improve its overall performance without replacing the whole device. For example, you can upgrade your existing desktop by adding another RAM module or replacing its hard disk with a faster solid-state drive.
Hardware refresh, on the other hand, means completely replacing the current equipment with its latest version. For example, you can swap your five-year-old iPhone 8 for the new iPhone SE. Hardware refreshes can be expensive, so they require proper timing. If you refresh your hardware too early, you may end up wasting money. But if you push your equipment far beyond its life cycle, you may suffer performance issues, unscheduled downtime, or even cyberattacks.
In this blog, we will focus on hardware refresh and the signs indicating that you need to perform it already.
1. Poor performance
Are your devices taking too long to complete simple tasks? Do they frequently crash or display error messages? Do you notice your equipment making unusual noises or emitting excessive heat? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your equipment may already be faulty and in need of a refresh. Using faulty equipment can waste your employees' hours and lower their productivity, as well as decrease their morale.
2. High maintenance and upgrade costs
Do you find yourself shelling out more and more money to maintain your current hardware? Are the spare parts for your equipment becoming increasingly difficult — and expensive — to find? If you’re spending too much money and time on IT support or unscheduled maintenance, then perhaps it’s time for a complete refresh simply from a cost standpoint alone.
Brand new equipment isn't just unlikely to need frequent repair and maintenance off the bat, but it also tends to have better capabilities than older hardware. For example, newer smartphones can deliver sharper images than older ones. Today’s mobile phones also have batteries that last longer and are capable of fast charging.
3. Incompatibilities with new software
Do you have an old Windows server that can't host recently released Windows software? Are you unable to install Windows 11 because your laptops and PCs don’t meet the minimum system requirements? Chances are your machines are long past their support dates, so they're no longer worth upgrading. You're better off purchasing new equipment that can run modern software.
4. Hardware past its official end of life
All devices have a finite life cycle. Although a device is still usable after it has reached its end of life (EOL) date, the manufacturer will no longer offer firmware security updates or customer support for it. This leaves your hardware susceptible to cyberattacks, so if any of your devices are near or have already reached their EOL, replace them as soon as possible.
5. Incapable of supporting business requirements
Your company’s hardware must be able to support your current and future business needs. Before the pandemic, desktops may have been more than enough. But, if like other companies, you are shifting to a remote or hybrid work arrangement, then you need to equip your employees with equipment that enables mobility, such as laptops.
The same goes for companies that are expanding their product lines or services. If your hardware can't handle the new workload, then it may be time for a refresh.
When you partner with Safebit , you can rest easy knowing that your IT systems are always running smoothly and optimally. Schedule a FREE consultation with us today.