In today’s digital-focused business age, computer systems and hardware are the engines that keeps company operations in motion. If your organisation has been using the same outdated PCs for some time, then it’s only a matter of time before the engine grinds to a halt.
If the computers used in your workplace are beginning to create problems for your employees, it won’t be long before they create bigger problems for the business – like a drop in productivity or delays in your customer service.
And while maintenance and repair can help, sometimes it’s better to heed the warning signs and opt for an upgrade. When a computer is on its last legs, it helps to know the symptoms before you pull the plug; we’ll take a look at the tell-tale signs to watch for below…
Starting up and shutting down are slow
One of the most frustrating things for employees is having to wait through a start-up whose pace is best described as glacial – especially if they’ve got a busy day ahead of them. If the performance of the business’ desktops or laptops has been moving like molasses for some time, then they might need to be consigned to the scrap heap.
For the time being, it’s worth checking if you have any applications that open at start-up or that are running in the background. Nothing slows down your hardware like a computer that’s trying to chug away with multiple programs open at the same time. Reducing the number of apps that auto-load can help to speed things up.
Your computer can’t multi-task
It’s rare for personnel not to require the use of multiple applications at the same time. If a computer can’t handle having two or more apps open, then you can imagine how frustrating it must be for employees when switching between open apps, or even open tabs, becomes an arduous slog.
Usually, this means that there’s insufficient RAM. And while that might be fine for a computer that was once used for browsing, it’s certainly going to struggle with apps used for things like web design, editing spreadsheets and complicated programming tasks.
The noise hits the fans
The computer equivalent of creaky joints, one of the first signs of a computer past its prime is a loud fan – especially when it’s not doing anything particularly intensive. Typically, this happens when you’re trying to run the latest version of an application or operating system, which might max out the hardware on your computer – with the fan working overtime trying to cool things down as a result.
You’re playing the waiting game with applications
Following on from the above, attempting to run new-fangled apps on old hardware is going to be a real struggle. If it feels like your computer is jogging in place every time you open an app, then check the compatibility when installing software to see if it actually works with the machine. If the bare minimum still isn’t enough, then it’s time for retirement.
Repairs are expensive
Some repairs for things like cracked screens or a new mouse are inexpensive. But for bigger issues, the bill for fixing them might cost as much, if not more, than a brand-new computer depending on the problem.
And though new hardware items need repairing, finding replacement parts for such equipment is easy. Finding them for your outdated models, on the other hand, is going to prove a lot tougher.
When you do find the parts you need, they tend to be on the pricy side if they’re not mass produced anymore. Multiply this cost by the amount of PCs in your office, and you’re potentially looking at one seriously hefty repair bill.
If you’re continually needing to repair your hardware, you’re not only losing money on support costs, but the resulting drop in productivity can have a big impact too. At this point, it’s better to cut your losses and simply opt for a new computer.
Email and file-sharing frustrations
Whatever sector you’re in, there’s bound to be competition. And if your peers have the latest hardware, their clients are going to communicate with them much more effectively.
While your old hardware might cope with offline operations just fine, it’s a different story altogether when it comes to exchanging info and data with businesses or clients. Find yourself turning to your phone or tablet to communicate with or send files to others? It’s time to upgrade your equipment.
They’re taking their toll on the staff
When they work at computers all day and use the latest phones and tech in their downtime at home, your employees are bound to be on the savvy side. Shoddy equipment isn’t going to cut it when they’re used to the best.
So, hardware that’s slow and out of date can be a huge issue for them. And with remote working as prevalent as ever, staff want to be able to use hardware that’s going to make the task of working from home as straightforward as possible.
If new hires are the only ones lucky enough to receive new hardware, then the imbalance, not to mention jealousy, of everyone working on different models is going to prove frustrating for those soldiering on with older PCs.
You’ve got equipment envy
If you’re in the habit of visiting other offices and their staff are all working away on the latest equipment and hardware, then it’s easy to feel a little envious. Just think of the work they’re getting done on a daily basis on such streamlined machines. Instead of begrudging them for their tech prowess, it’s worth asking them about their hardware to see if they have any recommendations.
Likewise, if you’re showing potential clients or hires around the office, and they see old hardware, it gives the impression you’re a company that doesn’t change with the times. You know what to do: out with the old, in with the new.
CDL is one of the UK’s leading IT disposal companies, working to help private and public businesses safely retire and recycle their outdated IT assets. To find out how we could help your business, or for more of the latest tech news and advice, visit our homepage or call our team today on 0333 060 2846.