By Denise A. Valdez
GETTING NEW devices may be more financially efficient than holding on to old ones, as replacing dilapidated hardware could be more expensive, a recent study published by Microsoft and Intel showed.
In a survey by research firm Techaisle of 2,156 small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from Asia Pacific, it said a four-year old personal computer (PC) would likely cost about P148,000 ($2,736) to maintain, which is equivalent to the price of buying at least two new devices.
“(Seven) in 10 SMBs surveyed have PCs that are older than four years, which significantly increases maintenance costs,” Microsoft vice president for Consumer and Devices Sales in Asia Bradley Hopkinson said in a statement sent on Tuesday.
The study found computers aged five years and above are 2.7 times more likely to need repairing.
“With budget constraints being the number one IT challenge among SMBs today, business leaders should seek to adopt a device modernization strategy so that they can maintain costs, while safeguarding their organization from newer digital risks,” Mr. Hopkinson added.
Aside from being financially questionable, the study also said using old PCs could risk data and security breaches among businesses, noting around 67% of SMBs are likely to have encountered cyber attacks the past year but were not able to report it.
“In a country like the Philippines, potential risks of cybersecurity threats are increasing. A modern PC will secure their operations, while improving productivity and avoiding downtime,” Senior Channel Executive for Multinational Accounts of Microsoft Philippines Verlyn Perez was quoted as saying.
Anurag Agrawal, Techaisle’s chief executive officer and analyst, said a common reason why companies choose to stick with older devices is the compatibility issue of legacy applications in newer operating systems, aside from financial constraints.
“Too often, SMB owners focus on short term costs and while in most cases this approach is absolutely valid, at times it can lead to situations that cost them more. The choice between maintaining older PCs and replacing them with newer PCs is one such area,” he said.
“SMBs should re-evaluate their decision given the higher cost of maintaining older PCs which has a larger cumulative effect on the budget than purchasing newer PCs with latest technology. SMBs in the region should seriously consider making the shift to a newer PC in the immediate future,” Mr. Agrawal added.