4 Things You Can Do to Squeeze More Life Out of Your Business's PCs and Servers
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, July 31, 2017 13:00
Servers, desktops, and laptops last longer than in years past, but businesses still find themselves in need of an equipment upgrade after a few years.
Even with the power today's devices pack into their cases, components eventually degrade due to age and wear.
Every year you can keep a computer going is a year you won't have to spend your IT budget on a replacement.
But how do you keep a computer or server going while also using it to its fullest? Here are a few tips that can help your team get more life out of your equipment.
Keep the Hardware Clean
Dust and debris fill every room of every office building, even if you have a cleaning service keeping work areas clean. This extends to your server room, despite your efforts to keep a dust-free environment. Set a schedule to power each server down and clean it thoroughly, preferably at least once a year. As technicians repair your business's desktops, also ask them to clean them up as part of standard ticket resolution.
Keep the Software Clean
Over time, computers and servers get bogged down by files and applications that are no longer in use. Set a schedule to do a thorough cleanup on each of your desktops and servers on at least an annual basis. It might be easiest to simply reimage each device to eliminate the excess data that naturally accumulates over the course of a year. If you choose cleanup over reimaging, run a malware scan and check to see which applications are consuming the most resources to easily determine what needs to be removed.
Consider OS Upgrades Carefully
IT professionals are trained to take security updates seriously, since patches can make all the difference in device performance, as well as protecting against malware. But a complete operating system upgrade can seriously impact the performance of an aging computer, even if it's only a couple of years old. Newer Windows machines automatically upgrade, so you'll need to turn that feature off. Not only can these upgrades slow your computer down, but they can even crash a computer that lacks the hardware to support the requirements of the new software.
Invest in Small Hardware Upgrades
Little things can go a long way in extending a PC's life. Keep extra RAM around for those tickets expressing complaints about slow operating speed. There are other components you can upgrade, but often you'll find that it's less expensive to purchase a new device than to invest in something like a new hard drive. To save money, some businesses choose to replace monitors only when needed instead of purchasing them each time they buy a new PC or server. Keep a few extra monitors on hand in case one suddenly fails and you'll likely find you can save money and reduce waste.
Computers and servers will always have a limited shelf life, but with a few small changes, you can extend the life of each of your devices. Over time, you'll find this keeps money in your IT budget that you can put toward other expenses.