Your office computers are the lifeblood of your company.

If one crashes it can affect your whole business. Now think about what would happen if your computers crashed and died all at once. It’s possible. After all, you might have purchased them all at the same time.

Which means they might be coming to the end of their viability all at the same time.
Planned computer obsolescence, as infuriating as it might be, is a fact of life right now. It’s hard to believe that the world’s most respected companies would sell products that are intended to have a built in, specific lifespan. But we’ve all had it happen to us. It seems like two weeks after the warranty expires -- so does the product.

Certainly businesses deny that they utilize this business strategy. But it’s a business strategy that’s been around as long as there have been inventions. Take nylon stockings. For instance, despite the fact that technology could easily have been developed to keep nylon stockings from ‘running’ or ‘laddering’ companies did not bother to do so. Why? Because keeping the nylons in a fragile state meant the company could sell more nylons. This strategy is often referred to as “shortening the replacement cycle”. Meaning it reduces the amount of time customers have between repeat purchases. And that can mean more money out of your pocket.

Which brings us back to computers. Like it or not, you need to plan and budget for the day when you need to replace your computers. It might not happen for a year or two but it’s best to build it into your budget now so you won’t be blindsided in the future.

Also consider the scenario that your computers could be working fine now but new software might not work on your older models. Do you really want to pay for forced a work-around when the computer might die soon anyway?

Here’s the lowdown. You must plan for the time when you need to spend money to replace your computers. Schedule an appointment with a qualified I.T. company to give you an analysis of your computer equipment. Most likely they will have worked with your type of equipment before and can give you a good idea of how long your equipment typically lasts. While an I.T. company can’t predict future costs they can tell you what replacement computers and software would cost at present.

Your trusted I.T. company can also talk to you about ‘Future Proofing’ your computers. This involves building your computers to your own specifications. Motherboards and processors boasting new, cutting edge technology typically have a fairly long life. That’s because these large components are more slowly adapted into the marketplace and therefore less likely to become obsolete as quickly. They tend to be able to support new or different software more readily.

You’ll need to weigh the costs and benefits of building computers to your specifications versus buying computers that are ready to go. Even with future proofing your computers there is no guarantee you won’t need to also replace them in the future.

Some simple measures can potentially extend the life of your computer.

1. Have your computer cleaned often.
2. Use a power surge protector strip.
3. Invest in RAM and hard drive space.
4. Don’t turn your computer on and off too often.

But no matter how careful you are with your computers, it’s best to prepare for their inevitable demise now. Think about how you would pay for a new computer system if your current system were to fail in one year, two years or three years. Think in parallel terms of how your business might grow or change and how your computer system should best support those needs. Plan and save for this eventuality. Build it into your future budgets.

Your business success depends on being able to see around corners. It means adapting and changing with new innovations. Your forward thinking actions now may just save your company a significant amount of money later.

Remember, all computers and technology will become obsolete at some point. Don’t be caught short.