Simple Tips When Deciding Whether to Upgrade or Replace Your Computers

by Jeremy Mortenson

When systems slow down to a crawl or employees complain about older computers, what’s the best way to solve the problem while juggling the natural IT scarcities of time and money? Often the root of the problem is hardware and not simply user error and the decision comes down to upgrading or replacing the system altogether. However, according to a recent survey from of over 350 IT managers, did you know that the decision to upgrade or replace is split nearly in half? A surprising 50 percent of IT managers typically chose to upgrade under-performing and aging computers, while 28 percent re-image and redeploy and just 19 percent replace them altogether.

Here are five considerations for IT managers to take who might be on the fence before they upgrade their company-issued computers:

  • Are employees using a hard drive and/or can more RAM be installed in the machine?
  • Is IT budget limited and/or already earmarked for other projects and expenses?
  • Do employees primarily store data on the business network, making it fast and easy to install SSDs?
  • Are employees with slow systems resistant to change when it comes to technology?
  • Do employees constantly complain about slow computers?

Consider replacing the computer altogether if the following sounds more like your IT environment:

  • If the company-issued computers’ CPUs are Intel® Core™ i3 or older, memory technology is DDR2 or older, or the systems can only accept 4GB of RAM
  • Your time is limited and you’ve already budgeted for new systems and/or have enough money to do replacements
  • The computers need to run a new OS or application with increased hardware requirements
  • You’re able to replace enough systems to take advantage of quantity discounts (or have leverage to negotiate for one)

Faster performance and increased productivity
Is your IT organization short on time, money or both? Every company is different, but more than twice as many of the IT managers in the same survey chose to upgrade their systems instead of replacing them. When money is limited, it’s best to consider an upgrade before a replacement. But when time is limited or you have the budget, you may want to replace aging systems. And if you’re considering re-imaging and redeploying a problematic old drive, it may be the perfect opportunity to replace the drive altogether with a faster, more reliable one. The nuances are unique to each organization’s culture and IT needs, but select the approach that’s right for you and your users because either way, the outcome is faster performance and improved productivity from employees.

Jeremy Mortenson is the senior product manager at Crucial.

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