When to Update and Replace Your Company’s Computers

Keeping your company’s tech up-to-date is essential. An older, slower computer can influence employee productivity, and a machine that has not been recently updated can fall victim to security attacks and viruses. But, how often do you need to update your business’s computers, and how do you know when it is time to replace them?

When to Update

When organizations get infected with malware, it is often because the machines are not adequately updated. Take the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, for example. 98% of machines affected were running some version of Windows 7. The security issue that left computers vulnerable to this attack was allegedly fixed by Microsoft in March; however, only people that kept their computers updated were protected from the malware.

So, how often should you issue a company-wide update for your machines? The short answer is as soon as possible — but let’s be honest, it is hard to keep ahead of every single update. For a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to make sure you update the operating systems on each computer as soon as they are released. New operating systems do not come out often, though, so you won’t need to do this much.

Aside from that, setting aside one day per month to update your company’s computers is typically good practice. Developers are always releasing critical software updates and security patches that will protect your computers from attacks. Additionally, ensure that all antivirus software is up-to-date, monthly.

When to Replace

Having to replace all the computers in your company is a scary thought. Microsoft claims that the average age of a PC is 4.4 years, and many experts consider 5 years to be a machine’s maximum life span. The main concern with computers around this age is aging hardware (computers may begin to run more slowly, become more bogged down with files, etc.). However, a problem that many older computers often run into is the inability to support the newer operating systems.

Every computer has a set lifespan, and no piece of technology can run forever. Instead of waiting for the technology to fail before you replace it, set up a strategic replacement schedule. Experts recommend replacing machines every 3 to 5 years, while smaller companies may be able to get by with replacing on an “as-needed” basis. Staying on top of a replacement schedule can help ensure your work environment is as productive and secure as possible.

Keep Your Tech in Check

Keeping computers up-to-date, secure, and reliable is of utmost importance in the workplace. In summary, computers should be on a regular update and replacement schedule — update your software at least once a month, and replace your hardware at least every 5 years or so. Have any questions about how to get your company on a schedule, and what type works best for your business’s needs? Give us a call.

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