Is it time to upgrade your PCs? Use this calculator to find out

Companies are upgrading PCs less often than ever before, but is it possible that maintaining your old PCs is costing you more than an upgrade would?

That’s the question that this calculator tool from Dell Inc. and Intel Corp. can help you answer. It’s called the Dell Business Client Refresh ROI Estimator, but perhaps a more colloquial term for it could be: “should I ditch my old rigs yet?”

The tool works best for a small business that’s using a mix of PCs, laptops, and tablets to keep its staff productive. You simply plug in what you have and what you’d consider upgrading to, and the calculator tool displays a comparison of the total cost of ownership for your old technology against the cost of the new gear. Your ROI is generated as a difference between the two, showing if you’d actually be saving money in the long term by making the upgrade.

Businesses can often forget that maintaining older technology can cost them money, says Amit Bhaga, a software and peripherals specialist at Dell, in a presentation at Dell’s Power to Do More event in Toronto on Wednesday. Older PCs can even be a security liability, for example.

“When you start looking at older PCs, traditional software security solutions use data-based approaches,” he said. “If you have a computer that’s three or four years old, you don’t have hardware-based protection on your system.”

There’s also the cost of potentially losing employees that are fed up with using a slow PC, he says. A Dell survey shows that one in four millennials will actively look to work for another company if they feel their current company is using outdated technology.

Recent Gartner numbers show that new PC shipments continue to be in decline. Shipments have declined for six quarters in a row, a trend that Gartner explains by pointing to the preference towards buying smartphones in emerging markets, and the devaluation of international currencies compared to the U.S. dollar.

The first quarter of 2016 saw 64.8 million PCs shipped, a 9.6 per cent decline compared to the last quarter of 2015. It’s the first time since 2007 that PC shipments have dipped below 65 million units. Gartner includes desktop PCs, laptops, and ultramobile PCs in this data.

The PCs that people are buying are being shipped out by familiar manufacturers. Lenovo is the top shipper of PCs, with 12.5 million units moved out in the first quarter for a market share of 19.3 per cent. It’s followed by HP, Dell, Asus, and Apple.

Gartner PC shipments Q1 2016

Shipment data like this shows more businesses are holding back on PC upgrades – perhaps waiting to make a migration to Windows 10 in some cases before they buy new hardware. Businesses may also be considering replacing certain desktop based PCs with new form factors like hybrid PCs or other mobile devices.

Dell’s tool can help you decide if and when it’s time to upgrade your PC fleet, here’s a video of how to make use of it:

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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