Microsoft has issued a bold claim that lost productivity caused by old computers actually outstrips the cost for businesses to purchase replacements by a factor of two to one.
According to the software giant, retaining machines that are more than four years old costs $5,012 per device – roughly double the cost of a replacement.
The figures were derived from a look into 415 SMEs across Australia and factored in the significantly higher maintenance costs required by older computers, as well as the productivity losses from slow or inoperable machines.
That is a significant finding for small and medium businesses, which often delay upgrading computers in a bid to save money and assist with cash flows.
“Technology is the productive engine for most SMBs in the region, especially where organisations rely heavily on their devices for their day-to-day tasks. However, eight in 10 SMBs surveyed have PCs that are older than four years, which significantly increases maintenance costs,” Microsoft’s Neil Gordon said.
But it isn’t just cost that increases with the age of the computer. Microsoft said that older devices, and the older software and operating systems they generally use, present a much greater risk of cyber breaches.
“To put it simply, old technology is not equipped to withstand the cybersecurity issues that are now the norm in the business world of today,” said Mr Gordon.
“Interestingly, our survey results showed viruses or other malware attacks and identity theft are the biggest PC security concerns among our small business community. This tells us Australian SMBs are aware of how advanced cyber attacks have become.”
According to the ATO, close to 350,000 businesses have made a claim under the $20,000 instant asset write-off, with the average sitting at more than $11,000 each.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.
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