Get a 536% ROI on Your IT Hardware
Since we’re on that time of the year again, the business process will be a bit slower, and maybe the number of active clients will be smaller than in other time periods. This is the perfect time to take a look at your network and maybe consider some TLC
Many people don’t realize it, but computers, servers, & other hardware items are just like cars: you either maintain them regularly, or they can break down at the most inappropriate moment. Computers are complex electrical systems, and therefore require specialized care.
An irregular cleaning schedule could produce more damage than expected so, the rule is: the longer you wait, the more problems you should expect. Here are 5 reasons why businesses should perform IT equipment maintenance at least once a year.
IT equipment tends to fail on you exactly when you need it the most. Often this coincides with your busiest periods of time and the effects could be devastating on your business; and we left out the increased levels of stress this affair brings.
Downtime is very expensive, especially if the component that fails is critical for your business. The main elements that will cost the most, are represented by staff, as they won’t be able to do their job, customers who will not be able to benefit your service & costs with hardware replacement/repairing. Regular maintenance would prevent most of these unpleasant situations.
2. Prolong your IT equipment’s life
With the development of Cloud Services, businesses are no longer obliged to change their computers every 3 years. Nowadays, a company that knows how to take care of their computers, will be able to use the same IT equipment for longer time periods as there’s no need for advanced technology locally (the workload has moved on Cloud Servers).
3. Reduce unnecessary expenses
The prices for hardware equipment have increased in 2015 and this is mostly due to the weak Australian $. This also means that replacing hardware equipment could mean a big stretch in the company’s budget. Not to mention that this is not the only cost and risk; you also have to consider the labor cost (someone has to do the installation) and the data loss risk. Often, this type of adventure leads to incompatibilities between the new systems and the systems that are already in the company. It’s an entire headache if you think about it!
We compared the expenses for a new computer & server VS maintenance. On average, a computer is replaced every 3 years in a business environment, in this example considered a small business with a staff of 10 employees.
Computer & Server 3 year cycle
Maintenance (over 3 years)
Server maintenance (over 3 years)
HP ProDesk 400 G2 Small Form Factor PC $900 per pc * 10 PC’s = $9,000
$225 * 10 PC’s = $2250
HP ML150G9 E5-2620v3
Windows Server OS $1536
Labour $300 * 10 PC’s = $3000
Total 9 years $45,000
If we consider a 9 years time period, the business which replaced their computers every 3 years would have spent $51,563 whereas the business that performed yearly maintenance instead of replacing, would have spent $8,100. That’s a 536% return on investment by performing maintenance over replacing.
4. Have your staff as productive as possible
Productive people are good for business, everybody knows that. Still, if you have productive people that can’t do their job because the computers are slow, you’ll end up with a pretty frustrated team. Computers will slow down due to improper installs/uninstalls, viruses, trojans, filled hard drive space and so on. By implementing a regular maintenance plan, these problems won’t have the time to manifest and influence your business.
5. Good for the environment
E-Waste is a huge problem in Australia. Data offered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that:
- in 2008, 37 million computers had been sent to landfills
- Only 10% of computers are recycled
- Its expected that by 2027 there will be 181,000 tonnes of computers in landfills
By maintaining your IT equipment, you help in reducing the need for new hardware and also protect the environment.
Watch this short video to see some of the critical activities we perform when doing yearly maintenance on a computer.
Dust is the biggest cause of hardware failure. Often, components inside the computer overheat, due to the excessive dust that acts like a blanket and doesn’t allow the airflow to cool the system properly.This can also cause computers to run slow or, in some cases, to simply catch on fire.
By cleaning your computers of dust you ensure the equipment is in perfect working condition.
2. Disabling startup items
If your computer takes longer to boot than usually, then the problem may be in the startup where too many apps try to launch at once. These tiny vampires get stuck in there and suck up the system’s resources from the very beginning. A quick cleanup and your system will boot like in the old days.
3. Disk Cleanup
The hard drive space is a valuable item for a company, and sadly, it is easily degradable. The longer a computer is used, the less hard drive space it will have if not cleaned up from time to time. The space tends to get filled with mail attachments, internet documents, previously installed apps and more.
The best way to imagine how a HDD works is to imagine a library. In this library, the empty spaces from the books that have been already taken off the shelves is replaced with other books. The same happens with the books that return – they are stacked some place else, where there is enough room for them. This stacking and re-stacking leads to data fragmentation and the computer must work double time in order to retrieve the information. This is why defragmentation is a very good thing for your computers.
5. Hard Drive Integrity
Like everything in life, hard drives have an expiration date. Someday, your hard drive will die out of the blue, and you may be at risk of losing important data if you don’t have recent backups. It could be anytime between the first day you get the new computer to 15 years later if you have been blessed with a great computer. It’s a good idea to check the integrity of your hard drive as it’s thousands of times easier to move data off a working hard drive than trying to recover it.
6. Virus and Firewall protection
We often see security issues when it comes to virus and firewall protection. The most common issues we deal with are either an expired antivirus license, a computer without updates, or a turned off firewall. All these leave the computer vulnerable in front of an attack.
7. Windows Updates and service packs
Similar to the antivirus software, Windows needs to be constantly updated in order to be secure. Sometimes updates fail to install, and this needs manual attention.
8. Event log check
Windows records all the events that happen on a computer in the Event log section. Checking these from time to time could reveal unsettling activities like someone trying to hack your system (denied login attempts).
9. Browser Hijack
Sometimes even browsers get hijacked with annoying popups or the main page gets switched with a search engine you’ve never heard of. Again, all these can be avoided with a thorough and regular cleanup.
Last but probably most important on our list, are backups. You should never leave backups for last because, when the situation goes bad, they will save your life. Try to make sure they are actually working by restoring certain files from time to time.
Yearly maintenance is not just an activity for desktop computers. Other critical elements in your network should also receive proper care and attention, like:
- Laptops: the maintenance process is similar to the activities discussed above. Also, blowing the dust out of open vents should be included in the maintenance process.
- Servers: similar to desktops, but they require some additional activities like security checks and updates.
- NAS (Network Attached Storage): checking the integrity of the hard drive, firmware update, backup checking.
- Routers/Firewalls: updates of the firmware, checking Internet signal strength, checking security settings
- Apple Mac’s: it doesn’t matter how perfect Apple considers their computers, they still need maintenance.
It is recommended to do it twice a year for a typical office business, but many businesses get away with one maintenance check per year. However, if your computer is situated in an environment where it is subject to more dust (e.g a factory), then maintenance should be performed more often.
As well as performing yearly maintenance on computers, it’s also a good idea to perform a security audit to ensure your network is safe. You can perform your own security audit by following this template, or you can call an Onsite Helper technician to perform the audit for you.
If you are one of our 14 VIP clients who are on a Managed Services agreement, you get all the activities mentioned above, plus:
- Up to 40% less IT related problems due to active monitoring and maintenance. Click here for more details.
- Faster response time.
- Extended hardware lifetime.
- Better security for your network.
Included in VIP Full Managed Services:
- Service Level Agreement of 4 hr response time.
- Immediate phone access to level 2 technicians.
- Proactive monitoring of computers and servers.
- Fortnightly reporting of computers/servers’ health.
- Yearly onsite maintenance on all computers and servers.
- Yearly security audit on network vulnerabilities.
Time in minutes
Backup check / Test
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