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Computers are expensive. Sometimes it feels like we are constantly having to replace them.  Especially in a business where they are used 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. According to Bill Pennock the CEO of Squaretree IT Projects, expect 5 years for a server, 3-5 years for a desktop computer, 3 years for a laptop, and 7-10 years for a printer. At Partek we agree with Bill and generally make the same recommendation. Here’s why:

If your business has a server, it is used by many in your business who are relying on a computer.  Your accounting for instance, relies heavily on your server functioning properly. Servers are put under load during peak hours and handle many more functions than a simple desktop computer.  For desktop computers, you need to weigh the cost of paying your staff for downtime when their computer no longer operates.  A newer computer will operate efficiently, and so will your staff.  Laptop computers have a shorter lifespan because they are most likely jostled and transported between the office, home, and business trips. This movement affects the efficiency of your laptop.  The good news is that most often your printer has the longest lifespan with maybe small, inexpensive maintenance every so often.

What can I do to ensure that my business computers are running in tip-top shape?  General surface maintenance such as compressed air and wiping them down to deal with dust is a never a bad thing.  Electronics are dust collectors, and the dust can effect the moving parts such as fans.  Second, keep your computer away from moisture.  Both dust and moisture can shorten your computer, server, laptop, and printer’s lifespan. Finally, engage the services of an IT professional to ensure the maximum lifespan of your equipment. The investment your spend in technology is evident in the return you get from an efficient and effective business operation.

Finally, it’s important to note that not only are your computers functioning efficiently after 3 to 5 years, but technology has changed so much in those 5 years, that your computer is likely out of date as well.  A solid, reliable IT infrastructure with reliable and efficient computers makes for a better business.