IDC has a report out showing the increase in IT costs for managing older hardware and software, covered by a recent Computerworld article. It’s sponsored by Microsoft so yes the numbers are unsurprising. But they are also quite believable.
- The magic milestone is after the three-year mark, when “costs begin to accelerate” because of additional IT and help desk time, and increased user downtime due to more security woes and time spent rebooting
- IT labor costs jump 25% during year four of a PC’s lifespan, and another 29% in year five,, while user productivity costs climb 23% in year four and jump 40% during year five. Total year five costs are a whopping 73% higher than support costs of a two-year-old client
- Organizations reported that they spent 82% less time managing patches on Windows 7 systems than they did on Windows XP, 90% less time mitigating malware, and 84% less help desk time
- Windows 7 users wasted 94% less time rebooting their computers and lost 90% less time due to malware attacks.
It’s part of Microsoft’s campaign to get computers running Windows XP replaced. And so they should be. You rarely see a company car over the age of 3 years old, let alone in service for over a decade. This is another area that in time will benefit from the transition to cloud computing and apps that work across multiple devices. One of the issues for replacing old desktops in large companies has been a dependency on bespoke applications that prove hard to migrate. That’s one trend to be glad to see the back of.
An associate who runs an IT support company for small businesses has recently introduced a new service plan for his clients. The support costs now increase for all equipment over 5 years old. For many customers, it has spurred them into action. IT systems can become like a pair of comfy old slippers – we hang on to them for far too long after they outlive their usefulness. The comparison to managing cars and their servicing/MOT costs has encouraged many to now look at a more regular cycle to keep technology current and useful to business activities instead of just sticking with what they are used to regardless of the wear and tear. Not all good news for Microsoft, some are now looking at a possible switch to Apple and others…