A new report claims that your company will save money by holding to short PC refresh cycles. Coming at a time when many organizations are trying to make their machines last longer, I started to wonder how your business replaces its systems.


Intel would like to make sure your company regularly obtains new computers. This should come as a surprise to no one. The chip manufacturer is publicizing a new report that claims that several hidden costs come with keeping your computers around for longer than three years.

From eChannelLine.com:

The economic downturn has convinced a lot of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to put off PC and notebook refreshes to cut costs, but according to data from a Techaisle report, the average cost per year to maintain a three-year-old system is $500 (US), while the maintenance costs for a newer PC is only $125. According to [Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Business Client Group Robert] Crooke, the return on investment for a new PC can be seen in less than one year.

When I worked for a small nonprofit, we spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how we should address this issue of system replacement. We budgeted regular expenditures for our hardware costs, but we’d often have to stretch the lifespan of our machines if it became necessary to save some money. Always hoping to find the best possible value, we considered entering into a leasing agreement to obtain our machines. Leasing is touted as a way to ensure your technology stays current while keeping expenditures predictable. It is even possible to arrange for technical support from some hardware lessors, which could provide savings by reducing the necessity for maintaining an in-house support staff.

Ultimately, my company decided not to lease machines. The cost for a three-year machine lease was significantly more than it cost us to purchase a new machine outright. Since it was important for the company to have an internal support tech, our management decided that the additional money the company would have spent each year to lease machines was better spent in funding my salary. I was then responsible for making sure that we got the best possible return from our hardware purchases.

Leasing didn’t make sense for my company at that point, but your company may be in a different situation. How does your company obtain new machines?

What has been your experience with your company’s choice for refreshing its hardware? Do you think your employer is getting the best possible value for its tech investment? Is it easier to provide support for machines that are part of a leasing agreement? You’ve answered the poll; now share your experience in the comments.