The 411 on Tech Refresh Cycles: How Long You Should Hang Onto Workplace Technology
If you think you could save money and lower operating costs by hanging onto your IT equipment (e.g., PCs, smartphones, tablets, servers) for as long as you can, you could be hurting your bottom line.
Using outdated IT equipment and devices lowers productivity and increases overhead because they tend to be less energy efficient. The higher energy consumption also impacts your environmental footprint, making your organization less attractive to consumers, employees, and investors.
Refreshing your workplace technology systematically and strategically helps you reduce operating costs, improve efficiency, and keep up with market demand while becoming more environmentally responsible. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a Tech Refresh Cycle?
A tech refresh strategy establishes a predictable cycle of updating components in your IT infrastructure to optimize performance and lower operating costs.
How Long Should a Tech Refresh Cycle Be?
Until recently, most organizations adhered to a four- to five-year cycle., However, the “if it ain’t broke” mentality is no longer a sustainable strategy for a number of reasons.
As companies leverage new technologies to accelerate digital transformation, meet customer expectations, and support a hybrid IT environment, they recognize that long tech refresh cycles are costing time and money.
As such, tech-savvy and forward-thinking organizations are moving to a two- to three-year tech refresh cycle.
Why You Need a Tech Refresh Strategy
Here are the key drivers for tech refresh strategies and their benefits:
Improve User Experience and Increase Productivity
Two out of three employees say that outdated technology has the most significant impact on their productivity. Over 60% of employees using work-issued computers say that the devices have prevented them from getting work done, while 70% say they’d enjoy their job more if they had better equipment.
Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
The TCO of PCs goes beyond the cost of hardware. It has to cover installation, software, networking, communications, applications, maintenance, technical support, etc., which increase as a piece of equipment ages. Refreshing PCs every three years reduces TCO by 24% compared with hanging onto them longer.
Reduce Cybersecurity Risks
Over 10,000 new malware threats are discovered each hour. An old device is more susceptible to security incidents and runs a higher risk of malware infection. Moreover, software vendors and hardware manufacturers often stop supporting older versions of their products, which means you can no longer get security updates to protect against new vulnerabilities.
Recycling legacy technology and giving devices a second life can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% per laptop. A comprehensive tech refresh strategy ensures that e-wastes are properly treated while precious metals such as lead, lithium, nickel, cadmium, and copper are removed, recycled, and reused
Attract and Retain Talents
64% of millennials would turn down a job from a company that doesn’t invest in environmental and social initiatives. Not to mention, workers stuck with legacy technologies are 136% less productive, less satisfied with their job, and four times more likely to quit.
Key Considerations When Planning Your Tech Refresh Strategy
Good planning is the key to optimizing the ROI of your tech refresh strategy. Here’s how:
- Take an accurate and complete inventory of your current technology. Create a database of all the equipment by serial number and keep track of existing software.
- Identify critical items and prioritize their refresh. These include outdated hardware and software that pose security risks.
- Consider asset recovery and buyback options to reduce the cost of your tech refresh plan. For example, committing IT assets to a second life can save you 20% on initial acquisition costs through CSI’s FutureValue™ program.
- Ensure data security by partnering with a vendor that adheres to the highest standards, such as NIST 800-88, to thoroughly “sanitize” all disk drives to ensure that sensitive data won't fall into the wrong hands.
You Have the Green Light to Streamline Your Tech Refresh Cycle
Orchestrating tech refresh involves many moving parts. Working with a trusted partner can help you lower costs while maximizing the ROI of your strategy.
That’s why more North American enterprises are partnering with CSI’s Green4Good program to solve their end-of-first-life™ IT asset disposition challenges.
Technology refresh, when done right, can be a win-win strategy that benefits your bottom line and the environment. Learn more about Green4Good to boost the ROI of your tech refresh strategy.