When is it the right time to replace an existing workstation? Nobody ever wants to lay out hard earned profits to replace a computer that’s still working, but a closer look at the numbers may show that to be exactly the right plan. Over time your computer slows down, it’s a fact of life just like death and taxes. This is for a number of reasons, not the least of which being the strain of heat on the CPU, additional load of OS and application patches, and the overhead of more sophisticated protective software (anti-viral/malware/etc.). Let’s look at some productivity models worked around weak workstations and their replacements.
First let’s look at someone who makes $100k and spends 5 minutes a day in combined “wait” time watching the hourglass spin on their desktop. They are currently making $.80/minute gross pay (not including benefits and employers contributions) That five minutes means $4 a day, $20 a week, and $80 a month. After the capital expense tax benefit, a new workstation class system today should run about $500. Meaning that in less than seven months a new system pays for itself just in added productivity. Considering that you were going to replace the new system eventually, and all you’ve done is hasten the scale, the benefits grow even more. Let’s say that this plan costs you an additional computer every six years. You would have originally replaced the system every five years, but now at every three, one additional. But if you extrapolate our wasted time costs, that additional two years of slow work cost you $1,920, or almost four times the adjusted price of a new computer.
Because the model scales, a person making $50k/year will save you almost $1000 by switching to a 3 year rotation plan. This is also why, especially in larger offices, trickle down computer theories fail miserably. Passing an older system down to other employees may seem like the perfect solution to stretching dollars, but in fact you may be burning them instead. As the costs of standard workstations drop, so does the benefit of passing your troubles along to an underling. Just as a little brother will grudgingly smile upon receiving your old dress pants as hand me downs, your employees often don’t feel the respect personally, or professionally when they are handed a 4 year old system as a cherished present from management.
One noted exception to the ‘hand me down’ situation is in a terminal services or Citrix environment. Because the remote session merely processes the screen and keyboard information of the server, and doesn’t do much computing itself, the system speed and capacity requirements for moderately fast operation are significantly less. For a group who works with a short defined list of applications which can run on a terminal server, this can be an economical solution. But please keep in mind the costs of the server and licensing for the users.
For an in depth analysis of your computing needs, and the costs of upgrading your network to a higher standard of performance and efficiency, contact Simpletech today. We specialize in making your tough computing decisions simple.