Demystifying PC Technology: Do You Need a Tech Refresh?

Intel-sponsored blog.


Technology inefficiencies can creep into your small business over time—oftentimes, almost unnoticed. Employees waiting for minutes for their PCs to boot up each morning, computer crashes, data breaches, and technology that simply can’t keep up with resource-hungry new applications can all affect productivity and the bottom line.4

The Hidden Cost of Older PCs

Ever notice how the time to start up your computer seems to get longer the older your computer is? It’s not your imagination. Older computers do take longer to boot. In fact, research from a J. Gold Associates report commissioned by Intel, Older PCs in SMB cost study – selected results,5 estimates that a PC that’s less than one year old takes, on average, less than a minute to start up. At more than five years old, that average startup time jumps to just over four minutes. Add that up over the course of a year, and employees can waste up to 11 hours waiting for an older PC to start up.1

But it’s not just time wasted waiting for computers to start up. The J. Gold Associates research also notes that small businesses estimate that more than 40% (43.42%) of their personal computers more than five years old break or malfunction every year. That’s in comparison to just over 5% for PCs less than a year old. The cost of the malfunctions for older hardware can add up to about $662 a year for each failure.6

Add it all up and older PCs can make employees 29% less productive2 and cost up to $17,000 a year in lost productivity per worker.3

And that’s not all. Older computers can also be more vulnerable to cyberattacks. And those can be extremely costly, especially for a small business. J. Gold reports that respondents said their older PCs have been hacked more than their newer machines on average. Globally, respondents estimated that on average, 5.92% of their PCs that were less than one year old had experienced malware attacks or other hacks. For PCs more than five years old, that percentage jumps to 34.47%.3

What does that mean in terms of the potential financial costs to a small business? The average cost of a single data breach worldwide is an estimated $35,745 per employee when an employee’s PC is more than five years old.7

Keeping Up with Cutting-Edge Technology

The hidden costs of older computers go beyond slow start times and malfunctions—and even security breaches. The reality is that many software applications are being upgraded often and these upgrades, while they deliver more and better functionality, may also require more computing power.

RJ Martino, CEO of Scale Technology, says, “If you don’t have the latest hardware, some features of new, or updated software simply cannot work. In a worst-case scenario, such as an update to the operating system, it might even slow down your computer’s performance.” Today, upgrading your PC hardware even every two years may not be often enough. Martino concludes with this: “Bottom line, if you want to be on the cutting edge of technology, you better make sure you’ve got cutting-edge hardware.”8

Learn more about key hardware components ›

Refresh for a Power Boost

To help maximize your employee productivity and the power of the latest business applications, talk to a trusted partner about whether it’s time to upgrade your PC hardware. The cost savings and productivity gains you may achieve could significantly outweigh the hidden costs of trying to squeeze more life out of the PCs you have now.9

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Product and Performance Information

1

“Employees spend up to 11 hrs. per year just waiting for their computer to boot up” is based on a 2018 web-based survey, commissioned by Intel and conducted by J. Gold Associates, LLC., of 3297 respondents from small business in 16 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA), to assess the challenges and costs associated with deploying older PCs. Assuming one start-up per day and using an average start-up time that was calculated by taking the midpoint of the time survey respondents estimated it takes to start up a PC that is more than five years old, employees were estimated to spend up to 11 hours a year starting up a five-year-old PC (4.07 minutes X 5 days per week X 52 weeks per year divided by 60 (to get to hours) X utilization rate of .67 so 4.07 X 5 X 52 / 60 X .67 = 11.8). To review this statistic and the full report, visit.

2

“Employees are 29% less productive on PCs that are 5+ years old” is based on the productivity impairment respondents estimated was attributed to using a five-year-old PC multiplied by the average amount of time respondents estimated was spent on a PC. To review this statistic and the full report, visit here.

3

“Every five-year-old computer you have could be costing you up to US$17,000 per year“ is based on a 2018 web-based survey, commissioned by Intel and conducted by J. Gold Associates, LLC., of 3,297 respondents from small business in 16 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA), to assess the challenges and costs associated with deploying older PCs. Survey respondents estimated that for PCs more than five years old, employees would be up to 29% less productive – based on an average assumed employee’s salary of US$60,000, the lost productivity cost will amount to US$17,000. To review this statistic and the full report, visit here.

4

Cost reduction scenarios described are intended as examples of how a given Intel®-based product, in the specified circumstances and configurations, may affect future costs and provide cost savings. Circumstances will vary. Intel does not guarantee any costs or cost reduction.

5

Statistics from a 2018 web-based survey of 3,297 respondents from small businesses in 16 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA) commissioned by Intel and conducted by J. Gold Associates, LLC, to assess the challenges and costs of using older PCs. Get the details of the study here.

6

The J. Gold study is based on a 2018 web-based survey, commissioned by Intel and conducted by J. Gold Associates, LLC., of 3,297 respondents from small business in 16 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA), to assess the challenges and costs associated with deploying older PCs. J. Gold research indicated that the failure of a PC under warranty cost a company $1,070 for each failure, and the cost of failure for a machine out of warranty was $1,525. We can allocate a cost per user per year based on the above calculated costs of failure (assuming an in-warranty failure cost for year one and a non-warranty failure cost for all other years) where: Cost = 43.42% (average failure rate) X $1525 (cost of failure outside of a warranty) 1 (usage from Q2).

7

Allocating the cost of a malware attack or data breach by employee can be calculated by the following formula: $35,745 (Cost per employee) = 34.47% (average percentage that have had a breach) X $103,705 (the average cost of the breach).

8

Inc. Intel View, “How to know when to update your hardware”, August 14, 2018.

9

Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more complete information visit www.intel.com/benchmarks. Cost reduction scenarios described are intended as examples of how a given Intel®-based product, in the specified circumstances and configurations, may affect future costs and provide cost savings. Circumstances will vary. Intel does not guarantee any costs or cost reduction.