Is it Time to Retire your Old Technology?

A lot of Miami small businesses are taking advantage of regular proactive maintenance that keeps their servers and workstations in tip-top shape much longer than their typical lifespan. Amazing amounts of money are saved on new hardware and downtime and everything is just peachy! You’ve been able to run that old server for years and you have workstations that are still chugging away on Windows XP. What you don’t know is that your old technology, even if it is in perfect working order, could be drastically slowing things down for your business.
Extending the life of your server and getting several years out of your workstations is a huge benefit of good maintenance. It saves money, it reduces the number of issues, and the company doesn’t need to open up the proverbial wallet to replace computer equipment nearly as often. We can’t stress how much of a benefit this is to businesses. However, sometimes old technology just needs to be cycled out for newer, more efficient technology to help increase productivity. In fact, old technology (even if it is working well) can even start costing you more in the long run. Let’s break this down with a few examples:
Let’s say Acme Distribution Co. has a dozen workstations that are being managed and maintained by their IT company. These workstations are old, all of them around 8 years old, running Windows XP, but they still ‘do what they have to do.’ Windows XP, while a great operating system, is from two generations ago. Microsoft is gearing up to end support for it in 2014, and that’s only if you are running the latest service pack (SP3). SP1 and SP2 support has already ended. Acme Distribution Co is going to start noticing (if they haven’t already) that some software and peripherals aren’t compatible with the older workstations, and it is more difficult for the IT company to ensure they will be secure.
Beyond the operating system, don’t forget that hardware will slowly degrade as well. Years of picking up dust, hair, and other debris will slowly wear down hardware, and spikes and dips in electricity can cause a lot of wear and tear as well. Using an uninterrupted power supply protects you from this, and is highly recommended on your servers, but maintaining a UPS system for every workstation might not be in your budget. Either way, after years of regular use, general degradation will occur and this could degrade performance as well.
A fast computer several years ago is not a fast computer today. First of all, new computers are incredibly powerful, even the entry-level models when compared to those a few years ago. On top of that, general usage over time requires the computer to work harder to run the same tasks. The registry can start to get inundated with extra junk, programs can take longer to open, and the overall speed and effectiveness of the computer can start to really slow down productivity.
We see businesses run seemingly working servers and computers for a long time because of our MSP proactive services, but much of the time the hardware is used beyond it’s usefulness for the company. Hardware costs are more affordable than ever, and new equipment means more productivity. Security and compatibility are big benefits of newer equipment as well.
Are you depending on servers or workstations that are more than a few years old? It might be time to retire them and upgrade, and it may be less expensive than you think. Give Michell Consulting Group a call at 305-592-5433 to talk about cost-saving possibilities for improving your IT productivity.