New research uncovers impact of owning an old PC on SMBs in Australia

two men sitting at a desk working on computers
  • Cost of keeping an old PC is AU$5,012 per device, enough to replace with 2+ new PCs
  • Budget constraints are number one IT challenge for SMBs
  • 67% of SMBs experienced PC security and data theft breaches

Still own a PC or laptop older than four years old? You may be spending more on its upkeep than buying a new modern device.

Microsoft and Intel today unveiled new research from Techaisle which found that the cost of keeping a PC more than four years old is AU$5,012 per device – enough to replace the ageing hardware with two or more new PCs.

The study, which surveyed 415 SMB organisations in Australia also revealed that a PC older than four years old is also 3.3 times more likely to undergo repairs, resulting in loss in productivity.

“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, 8 in 10 SMBs surveyed have PCs that are older than four years, which significantly increases maintenance costs,” said Neil Gordon, Director, Consumer and Devices Sales, Australia and New Zealand, Microsoft. “With budget constraints being the number one IT challenge among SMBs today, it’s important to consider technology strategies so that they can maintain costs, while safeguarding their organisation from newer digital risks.”

Increased security and reliability with a modern device

The new study revealed that in the last year alone, as high as 67% of SMBs experienced PC security and data theft breaches, with only 22% of them actually reporting these attacks.

“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,” added Gordon. “Interestingly, our survey results showed virus’ 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.”

Addressing business priorities with a modern device approach

Respondents in the study identified their top business priorities as increasing profitability as well as business growth and reducing operational costs. The study highlighted that SMBs are looking at IT as a response to address their business issues. The top IT priorities included investing in cloud solutions, PCs and mobility solutions.

“SMBs constitute over 97% of businesses in Australia and employ more than 40% of the workforce in the country. They are intricately linked to large businesses, government departments and educational institutions as both suppliers and customers. We believe that if SMBs adopt a modern technology strategy, they can empower workers with greater flexibility and the ability to work on-the-go,” said Joshua Carr, Retail Sales Manager, Intel.

“Too often, we found SMB owners focus on short term costs and while in most cases this approach is absolutely valid, at times it can lead to situations that cost them more. The choice between maintaining older technology and replacing them with newer technology is one such area,” said Anurag Agrawal, CEO & Analyst, Techaisle.

For those who have already made the move to newer technology, study revealed that:

  • 68% felt that they were better able to secure and protect their business data on newer PCs;
  • 70% agreed that it has helped reduce overall maintenance costs;
  • 70% saw improved efficiencies due to new experiences powered by cloud and mobility solutions, and
  • 71% agreed that a newer PC has made their staff more productive.

“With the research highlighting the impact new technology can have on Australian small businesses, including better security and higher staff productivity, we encourage this community to think longer term about their strategic choices,” concludes Gordon.

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