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[ 28-11-2013 ]
SMEs burdened by aging PCs
The wrong outcome: Attempts by business to scrimp on IT costs can result in the opposite — higher expenditures

The wrong outcome: Attempts by business to scrimp on IT costs can result in the opposite — higher expenditures

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, 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.

“Upgrading to new PCs is one of the wisest choices a small business can make,” said Rick Echevarria, vice president of PC Client Group and general manager ofBusiness Client Platform Division at Intel. “PCs are largely considered the foundation for many of these companies, and this study makes a clear cut case for refreshing them on a regular basis.”

Among the key findings from the study:

1) Older PCs negatively impact work performance. On average, employees lose 21 more hours by using a PC that is four years or older due to time needed for repairs, maintenance and security issues, compared to PCs that are less than four years old. Repair and maintenance is 1.5 times more frequent on PCs that are four years or older.

2) Repair costs for older PCs either equal or exceed the purchase price of new PCs. Small businesses are spending an average of US$427 (RM1,300) to repair a PC that is four years or older. This is 1.3 times the repair cost of PCs that are less than four years old.

3) Security risks and other costs will increase in 2014. Forty-seven percent of respondents were unaware that Microsoft is ending service support for the popular 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.

3) Small businesses in the US are using the oldest PCs. Of the countries surveyed, 8% of small businesses in the US are running PCs that are five years or older, in contrast to only 5% of small businesses worldwide and 1% in India.

Intel Malaysia announced in September its SME “Level Up Your Business” campaign aims to encourage business owners to assess the use of IT in their business. Intel, through its partners, will offer free consultation as well as exclusive deals and bundles for Intel-powered PCs to SME business owners.

Business owners stand a chance to win a RM20,000 IT upgrade for their company by interacting with the ‘Level Up Your Business’ IT diagostic tool on the microsite and expressing their ideas on how an IT upgrade an creatively change their business. For more information about the contest, visit http://smb.intel.my/levelup. The contest ends on Nov 30.

Intel partners for the “Level Up Your Business Campaign” are HP, Corpacer,McAfee, ServerWare, SNS Network and TAKNET Systems.

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