Study: SMBs Can Save by Upgrading Older Systems

If you still own a PC or laptop that’s more than four years old, you might just be spending more on its upkeep than buying a new modern device. At least that’s what a new study from Techaisle has revealed. The study also highlighted the opportunities that Asia Pacific’s SMBs have by upgrading to modern devices at work.

The study, which surveyed 2,156 SMB organizations across Asia Pacific, found that the cost of keeping a PC more than four years old is US$2,736 per device — enough to replace the ageing hardware with two or more new PCs.

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The study also revealed that a PC older than four years old is also 2.7 times more likely to undergo repairs, resulting in loss in productivity. 85% of larger SMBs, with more than 500 employees, have PCs that are older than four years, compared to 60% in smaller SMBs employing less than 100 employees. This underscores the widespread usage of older devices within SMBs in the region.

Fig 1. Cost of owning an older PC

“PCs are the productive engines for most SMBs in the region, where organizations rely heavily on their devices for their day-to-day tasks. However, 7 in 10 SMBs surveyed have PCs that are older than four years, which significantly increases maintenance costs,” said Bradley Hopkinson, Vice President, Consumer and Devices Sales, Asia, Microsoft. “With budget constraints being the number one IT challenge among SMBs today, business leaders should seek to adopt a device modernization strategy so that they can maintain costs, while safeguarding their organization from newer digital risks.”

Increased security and reliability with a modern device

The new study revealed that in the last year alone, as high as 67% of SMBs may have experienced PC security and data theft breaches, with only 15% of them actually reporting these attacks.

“With a modern PC powered by Windows 10, SMBs can be assured of up-to-date security updates, powered by cloud intelligence that proactively protects their businesses,” added Hopkinson. “By reducing the potential risk of cyberthreats with a modern PC, SMBs can definitely improve their productivity and avoid downtime.”

Addressing business priorities with a modern device approach

“SMBs constitute 98% of enterprises in the Asia Pacific region, and employ half of the workforce in the region yet many of them still have PCs older than four years old. We believe that by having them move to a modern PC powered by an Intel Core processor, they can unlock greater productivity for their business while reducing IT management time and costs,” said Santhosh Viswanathan, Managing Director, Sales and Marketing Group, Asia Pacific Japan Territory, Intel.

Respondents in the study identified their top business priorities as increasing profitability, business growth and improving workforce productivity. The study highlighted that SMBs are looking at IT as a response to address their business issues. The top IT priorities included investing in PCs, cloud solutions and security solutions.

“We found that the key barriers in migrating to a newer device were concerns of legacy applications not being able to work on a newer operating system, along with the lack of budgets. However, the benefits of adopting a modern device strategy outweighs the concerns. Too often, SMB owners focus on short term costs and while in most cases this approach is absolutely valid, at times it can lead to situations that cost them more. The choice between maintaining older PCs and replacing them with newer PCs is one such area. However, these SMBs should re-evaluate their decision given the higher cost of maintaining older PCs which has a larger cumulative effect on the budget than purchasing newer PCs with latest technology. SMBs in the region should seriously consider making the shift to a newer PC in the immediate future,” said Anurag Agrawal, CEO & Analyst, Techaisle.

SMBs have an opportunity to improve their overall operations with modern devices. For those who have already made the move to newer PCs, study revealed that:

  • 69% felt that they were better able to secure and protect their business data on newer PCs;
  • 65% agreed that it has helped reduce overall maintenance costs;
  • 63% saw improved efficiencies due to new experiences powered by cloud and mobility solutions, and
  • 62% agreed that a newer PC has made their staff more productive.

More than 42% of PCs used in SMBs are still on older versions of Windows today, according to the study. Upgrading to a Windows 10 modern device will offer experiences that are more familiar, safe, secure, and productive.

With the upcoming Windows 10 October 2018 Update, users can enhance their productivity to help them make the most of their time across work, home and everywhere in between. New features include Your Phone app which allows users to access photos and texts on Windows 10 devices, the new To-Do app that helps manage, prioritize and complete tasks, as well as enhancements across, Edge as well as Office apps. In addition, users can expect general Windows security improvements, including support for biometrics login via Windows Hello for Business for Azure Active Directory and Active Directory.