Phone Productivity and Old Computers

How to measure productivity in an office is always a difficult task.

I have conversations with business owners almost every day about when is the right time to update their computer system. Normally the outcome depends on the style of the owner. Those who run a slick business by managing the operation from a distance are much more likely to see the value in keeping their computer systems running quickly.

See the problem is as computers get older they slow down. Now I guess this is not really surprising. But the older they get the slower they respond or seem to operate. This is for a number of reasons that I won’t go into here, but the slower the response, lower the productivity. Lets add another factor too. As machines age they become unreliable, the older they get the risk of failure increases. When a computer fails it unusable until it can get fixed. Productivity is nil.

So when is the best time to upgrade? Well, I wish I had some great research paper that spend 2 years investigating just this phenomenon. But I don’t, only have my experience and that of our staff.

Age   Speed     Reliability  Replace ?
 1-3 years old  Great  Great
 3-4 years old  Begins to slow  Warranty expired (begin to worry)  Replace Now.
 4-5 years old  Really slows down Risk of failure in disks
 5 + years old  slow and unpredictable Random  behaviour.

So if you being to plan to replace your computer equipment every 3-4 years your staff will be happier, the business will be more efficient as productivity due to fast computer will be on your side.

If you agree with my analysis but cash flow is an issue in the business, then commercial finance is a good option especially at the moment with low interest rates. Spread the repayments out over 4 years, make monthly repayments that are tax deductable operating expense.

In 4 years time it is an easy decision – replace the systems and roll it into another 4 year contract.

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