One complaint our IT Support service often hears when we onboard a new client is “my computer runs really slowly”. That is never good news because it affects productivity and annoys the user. We want happy users so what should happen?

IT Support limitations

In some cases, we can improve the computer either with software or low-cost hardware upgrades. These include SSD disks or faster memory. Even with our IT Support smart heads we sometimes have to declare a computer a lost cause. This is usually because of the age of the computers and the cost in time and materials needed to improve it to an acceptable state.

No matter how good our IT Support service is we are never going to make an 8-year-old computer running Vista into a supercharged machine.

Choices to make

So when should you replace your computers? This will depend on what type of machine needs replacing. Laptops for example typically won’t last as long as a desktop computer. Many people are also changing the way they work so perhaps a new desktop isn’t required anymore and you may choose from the many alternatives. For example, low-cost Chromebooks are becoming very popular with some. For many, the traditional laptop or desktop is still the most popular choice.

Considering productivity

We won IT Support for a great team of solicitors. But, they had a few IT Support problems. The administrators all had computers that were over 4 years old. One machine was in such bad shape that the operator went to make a cup of tea after switching it on. She was losing at least 10 minutes a day due to slow loading programs and start up. All those lost seconds add up.

The economic case for change

So let’s do the maths. A new computer will cost around £500 depending on specifications needed. Imagine an administrator is on £18,000 per annum. That is 16p a minute for a 37.5 week. If their computer is losing them 10 minutes a day then that is costing £1.60 a day or £8 a week. That is £384 lost productivity per annum. This means that in less than 15 months a new computer will have paid for itself – assuming the administrators cuts down the tea intake!

We spend so much time using our devices it is always worthwhile to ensure performance is maximised and when it starts delaying the user then change it. Not only will it improve the user’s productivity and enjoyment it also normally makes economic sense as well.


This is why we typically recommend that our IT Support clients refresh computers every 3 to 5 years depending on the environment.