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5 Ways to Accurately Predict Annual IT Hardware Expenses

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If your planning to expand your buisness you best get your IT infrastucture ready.

In this blog post, we will cover about five ways to predict annual hardware expenses accurately. We’ll cover topics such as IT software upgrades and IT hardware upgrades. The goal is to help you get a handle on the costs associated with maintaining your infrastructure so that you can plan accordingly and not be surprised by unexpected expenses down the road.

  1. What hardware will I need to upgrade or replace? 
  2. How critical is the hardware? 
  3. What are your plans for growth? 
  4. What’s the risk to your security if you stick with older hardware? 
  5. How will replacement hardware increase efficiency and reduce downtime? 

What hardware will I need to upgrade or replace?

All businesses are different, so you have a higher tolerance than other businesses for older tech. That said, there is one general rule of thumb that governs business hardware. We recommend replacing your company’s IT equipment every five years, typically around the sixth-anniversary date from when it was first installed in an office space or after ten thousand hours (five hundred twenty days) if used continuously day-in and day out without interruption.

When you buy all of your tech at once, it can be tricky/expensive to budget for an entire replacement. One option is the five-year plan: replace 20% every year and make sure that there’s enough stock when something breaks or wears out.

Of course, this might not work if one purchase was too big, so consider leasing instead.

Critical Hardware for Your Business

Broadband

Fibre internet is an excellent investment for any company because it is the foundation of your connection with the world. Forbes reported last year that the average small business owner lost over £1700 due to slow speeds and several hours of productivity per day spent on accessing information technology services like email or loading research data from databases online.

The most crucial benefit fibre offers businesses looking at upgrading their networks isn’t just increased download capacity; it’s also improved uploads rates which means less strain on network connections and gives them greater peace of mind during peak times when everything else is busy.

Other benefits include greater reliability, stronger signal to the switch, quicker cloud access, improved security, increased user capacity, less mental stress from slow connections and money savings from reduced downtime. But more on those topics in a future blog.

Physical Computers / Workstations

It is never too late to invest in a new computer. When you purchase your next device, consider a more high-end model that will be more reliable and cost less over time. A survey by Techaisle found the average cost for maintaining old computers with high-quality parts was 28% higher than purchasing newer models; this expense also includes lost productivity due to slow or faulty hardware.

Older machines require expensive upgrades and repairs to keep them running at peak efficiency, which can be costly both financially and environmentally (due to increased energy use).

An outdated computer can break down and cost you in lost productivity. Still, new devices can provide longer battery life and shorter start-up times, which means faster connection time when it comes online. The Techaisle study also found that more than 40 hours of productive work are lost each year while old machines were having repairs done.

IT Engineer fixing laptop
Its not cost-effective to keep repairing old tech

WIFI Speed

When your business is running smoothly, the router may seem like a minor detail. But when you start to notice that it’s not performing as well as it used to or isn’t staying up with security updates, this could indicate that something more serious needs attention.

In many cases, businesses hold onto routers until they stop functioning altogether before upgrading their hardware in order not to disrupt workflows. This can lead them down a dangerous path if left unchecked. This is literally an open door for hackers and data breaches.

WiFi 6 is far superior to its predecessors. WiFi6 focuses more on improving network performance for large groups of connected devices rather than boosting individual device speeds, which means your router can communicate with more gadgets at once and will be able to deliver a snappier experience for everyone in the business.

As wireless security becomes ever more crucial, organisations turn to the latest standards like WPA3 for protection. The newest routers also come with additional features that will keep your network safe such as access controls, firewalls (software designed to prevent hackers gaining access to your network), spam filters, and virus scanning are all built-in.

A router is a device that you can’t live without for your home or office network. Upgrade ASAP and get on top of the performance issues before they become severe bottlenecks for your businesses productivity.

What Are Your Businesses Plans for Growth?

Where do you see your business growing over the next five years? This is a crucial question to be asking yourself regarding upgrading your IT infrastructure. Different circumstances require different IT solutions, but in essence, we all want our businesses to grow.

If you’re looking to expand your business regarding locations and staff, that doesn’t mean you will need to purchase all the equipment necessary today if you double in size next year. We recommend you set up an IT infrastructure that is future proof and easily expandable. So when you do start taking on new staff and adding recent office locations, your system will be able to handle the increased capacity. Be warned; there is no one size fits all in IT infrastructure planning. Planning for growth is a very nuanced topic, and I would highly recommend having an IT review with iceConnect to understand your business and its needs based on your growth plans.

Old Computers and Security Risks

Would you fly in an aircraft that was three years past its maintenance cycle? The same principle applies to computer hardware. Ageing, outdated systems and software pose severe risks for everyone on your network. They are a time bomb for getting hacked and having catastrophic downtime failures.

You may be wondering why you would want to spend money on new hardware when old laptops and desktops work perfectly fine with most security updates but don’t support measures such as comprehensive encryption or advanced authentication. But if they do have issues, then maintenance costs will keep rising incrementally each year.

The truth of the matter is that even though your older devices still function adequately, for now, it’s best not to go past 4-5 years after the purchase date. These newer models are more secure at protecting against malware intrusions, which can happen without detection by hackers who try to exploit vulnerabilities found within software code.

The longer software or hardware has been available to the public, the easier it will be for digital criminals to find their weaknesses and hack into your device. It would help if you had protection from these attacks now rather than later.

It is a false economy not to invest in the latest and most secure technology. The potential cost to your business increases exponentially the further your push back upgrading your IT infrastructure.

Senior IT Engiener Server Rack

Updated Hardware Increases Efficiency and Reduce Downtime

Updating your IT infrastructure with new hardware is a wise investment that will pay off in the long run. Old equipment becomes less reliable over time, making you more likely to experience crashes. However, updating can dramatically reduce this downtime by increasing reliability and productivity.

Upgrading your organisation’s hardware can boost its ability to communicate on a B2B and B2C level. Video conferencing software, for example, has expanded into 4K technology, and this not only looks fantastic but also allows you the chance of communicating clearly with staff members or customers over video chats on any device they choose, from their office desktop computer down to smartphones.

Your employees want to be using the best technology as it makes their jobs more accessible and more productive. For example, your network is prone to lags in speed which can seriously frustrate them when they cannot connect specific applications because of how much work gets delayed or lost due to delays in loading time. However, upgrading hardware will solve all these issues by improving speeds and making connections faster, so you’ll have less downtime while completing tasks more quickly than ever before.

IT Review
IT infrastructure Review

Upgrade for Future Growth

As your business grows, you’ll need to upgrade existing hardware and software. You could wait until the time comes when it’s necessary. However, this could lead you into spending too much money on an enterprise IT system that doesn’t fit all your needs. Shopping around for tech on a last-minute basis will end up costing you dearly. Instead, invest in new equipment now while they’re still affordable.

If you’re looking to grow your business, book an IT review with one of our experts today. We will evaluate what IT infrastructure you currently have, compare that with your business growth goals, and create a phased plan for your IT infrastructure upgrade. You may find that the costs and effort required to bring your business up to date won’t be as high as you’d think.

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