What is a hardware refresh?
Let’s not confuse a hardware update or upgrade with a hardware refresh. When updating hardware, which you should do consistently, you patch any security vulnerabilities. You'll also address any other issues the manufacturer may have discovered post-release. Then, in the case of an upgrade, your hardware stays in place, but you might add drives or RAM.
Next, there’s the hardware refresh. This sees you replacing the hardware you have with new technology. You’ll replace outdated equipment with the newest versions. Read on to learn why you’d do that.
Why is a hardware refresh needed?
Business relies on technology to function and offer competitive advantage. Yet your hardware can reach the point at which it slows you down. Or, worse, it becomes an actual security risk, which could lead to devastating downtime.
There is no one magic bullet to remove all risk of cyberattack or difficulties with your business IT, but refreshing hardware helps you combat:
- performance issues;
- capacity issues;
- security vulnerabilities.
Plus, you gain any new functionality built into the equipment since you last bought it.
Many businesses have a set hardware refresh cycle; perhaps every three to five years. Yet that timeline is only a general suggestion, and it may not suit your particular business needs. Upgrade too early, and you’re not getting full value for your technology investment. Upgrade too late, and you risk productivity and security.
Knowing when to upgrade, repair, or refresh helps ensure return on investment. You can also save on the refresh itself. More on that next.
How to save on hardware refreshes?
It’s a good idea to have a hardware refresh process, yet allowing the calendar to dictate server unit, workstation, or networking component changes can waste resources.
Reduce hardware refresh costs by doing an IT and network audit. This audit helps you understand what is currently used, how it is being used, and whether or not it is up to the task. This can also help you identify areas where you are over-equipping your employees. For example, a design firm's administrator won’t need the same amount of RAM as the designers need to run graphics programs.
You can also save on hardware refreshes with virtualization. Instead of replacing legacy technology with another physical machine, host it in the cloud. Take a server unit. Doing away with the on-site server unit provides access to the server’s resources online. You gain the flexibility of being able to run multiple operating systems on the same device. Plus, you’ll save on electricity, cooling, and maintenance costs.
Refreshing business equipment brings both labor and infrastructure expenses, but failing to refresh hardware can overburden IT, slow employees, and risk security. Optimize your hardware refresh by knowing business needs, auditing current technology, and exploring alternatives.
Partnering with a managed service provider to help you establish a refresh plan can help, too. Our experts can determine what equipment needs to be changed and what is still viable. We can help you evaluate options to get the most cost-friendly solutions. Plus, we can help with upgrades and updates, too. Contact our team today at 937-660-4899!