Does your firm waste valuable dollars purchasing new work stations and software on a haphazard basis? Are you impeding the productivity of your staff by waiting for outdated equipment to break down before you replace it?

Todd Budde, a VCIO with ThrottleNet, appeared on TNtv to discuss the importance of a technology refresh schedule and how it can help a company save money and even improve staff productivity.

Budde said businesses need to create a refresh schedule so hardware can be replaced in a timely fashion. This helps a company schedule certain expenditures and upgrades in advance to avoid a major financial hit such as when Microsoft ended support for Windows XP and companies needed to purchase new software and all new work stations at the same time.

Benefits of a Refresh Schedule

A refresh schedule helps a business plan ahead, so 10 work stations may get replaced annually as opposed to 30 all getting done at the same time.

Budde indicated this type of plan can help make employees more efficient. Older work stations have a tendency to slow down the longer they are in use. Workers may have to wait for programs to load at a slow pace. Newer software versions may not run on an outdated operating system. Waiting six or seven years to replace a series of machines can slow down the productivity of the entire organization.

Reducing culture shock with employees is also a benefit of a tech update schedule. Migration from an older operating system, such as Windows XP, to a new one, such as Windows 8, can create a type of havoc in the workplace. The entire staff may need to be trained on the new O.S., all at the same time. Pre-scheduled upgrades can help avoid this type of chaos.

How to Plan for a Hardware Refresh

Budde said refresh schedules will vary depending on the company and equipment is use. This includes different servers, firewalls, workstations, backups and even mobile devices used in the workplace.

A good rule of thumb is to replace work stations every three years. Networking equipment such as servers and switches can be replaced every five years. Mobile devices have a tendency to slow down after two years and should be updated in the third year of use.

A business wishing to upgrade to the latest and greatest software may not need to change all work stations at the same time. For example Budde indicated that a company wishing to update their version of QuickBooks may only need to update the workstation of the person(s) using the software.

Planning in advance for periodic updates to equipment and software can help a company budget their tech spend, avoid major one time expenditures, and maintain production and flow across all  business areas.

For additional information on planning a refresh schedule, contact ThrottleNet at 866-826-5966.

Watch the full interview with Budde below!