Are Small Businesses Burdened by Aging PCs?
On average, small business workers lose more than one work week per year due to old PCs, according to a recent multi-country study commissioned by Intel Corporation and conducted by Techaisle.
The Intel Small Business PC Refresh Study surveyed 736 small businesses in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia and the United States to gauge the state of their PC equipment.
According to the findings, released Tuesday (Oct. 29), small businesses are holding onto PCs significantly beyond the recommended refresh date, with more than 36 percent owning PCs that are more than 4 years old.
These machines require more maintenance, exerting a greater toll on employee productivity and higher equipment costs than the purchase of a new machine, suggests the study.
Key findings from the Intel research:
- Older PCs negatively impact work performance – On average, employees lose 21 more hours by using a PC that is 4 years or older due to time needed for repairs, maintenance and security issues as compared to PCs that are less than 4 years old. Repair and maintenance is 1.5 times more frequent on PCs that are 4 years or older.
- Repair costs for older PCs either equal or exceed the purchase price of new PCs — Small businesses are spending an average of $427 to repair a PC that is 4 years or older. This is 1.3 times the repair cost of PCs that are less than 4 years old.
- Security risks and other costs will increase in 2014 — Forty-seven percent of respondents were unaware that Microsoft is ending service support for the Windows XP platform, placing a higher maintenance burden directly on small businesses. Moreover, since automatic updates will no longer be provided to help protect PCs, valuable business data is more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.
- Small businesses in the United States are using the oldest PCs – Of the countries surveyed, 8 percent of small businesses in the United States are running PCs that are 5 years or older, in contrast to only 5 percent of small businesses worldwide and 1 percent in India.
The Intel Small Business PC Refresh Study was conducted by Techaisle on behalf of Intel in April. A total of 736 small businesses (1-99 employees) based in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia and the United States completed a 20-minute questionnaire.
Respondents consisted of IT decision makers with a sampling quota fixed by employee size categories.