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Guest blogger, George Dikeakos, is an Information Technology professional at LevelDesk in the Orange County, California area.  Here he discusses how costly it can be to use outdated computer systems.

You walk into the office on a Monday morning, sit down in front of your computer, and take a sip of coffee. After you get that first-sip-jolt, you stretch your fingers and proceed to type your password into the computer. For the past three (or is it four?) years, your workstation hasn’t really failed you. After all, resolving any issues is usually fixed with a quick reboot. But today, something was amiss.

After struggling with a simple task such as logging in, you resort to the trusty reboot. Yet, the computer is struggling to let you in. At this point, it’s already an hour into your day, and you still haven’t been able to start doing anything. Begrudgingly, you call the IT department, knowing that you will be severely behind on your work. The IT department has you working on a spare machine while they figure out what’s wrong, but that system doesn’t have everything you need. One week later your computer is replaced or repaired, but now you’re delayed on all of your projects.

Outdated computer systems can reduce productivity by up to 50 percent per week that they remain in production. For an employee earning $25 per hour, your business is losing up to $500 per week of productivity, plus the cost of repairing the system. If a machine is out of production for one week, with a conservative repair cost of $1,250 (five hours of labor, plus the cost of parts, shipping or travel), it costs your business a whopping $1,750 plus an additional productivity cost of $500 per week that that machine remains out of service.

Conversely, a mid-range business-class computer costs $900. The cost of labor is significantly less. With the proper IT protocols in place, setting up a new computer system takes less than two hours (approximately $400), bringing your total investment to $1,300. At a minimum, this can save your business $450 in lost productivity per machine.

Pairing this concept with a computer replacement schedule keeps smart business owners ahead of the curve. It ultimately saves them an incredible amount of time and money in both cash and productivity. The average time in which a computer system remains productive is three years. Over the past five years alone, our need to multitask, and the increased system requirements needed by the software we use, renders many five-year-old systems obsolete. Replacing machines on a three-year cycle ensures that there’s less of a chance for productivity loss, and the possibility of recuperating some of your investment by selling those machines to a recycling company.

Without the proper IT protocols in place, companies can lose money in the form of cash and productivity. Time lost from a slow or outdated computer system means your employees have less time to work on things that make your business money. It’s essential to speak with your IT provider about creating these policies as soon as possible!

George Dikeakos HeadshotGeorge Dikeakos is an IT professional who has 15 years of IT Support & IT Management experience. He is currently one of the partners at Leveldesk, a Managed Service Provider based in New York City and Orange County, California.