A slow PC can seriously impact productivity in a business – which means it becomes a cost to your business. A slow or poorly performing PC is a cost to your business in terms of lost productivity.
Many of your staff members have become accustomed to statements such as “it is running slow today” or “oh, it always does that“. These statements are typically in reaction to switching their PC on in the morning, applications loading or opening large spreadsheets. There can be many reasons for this slow down; a lack of pro-active Windows maintenance, no systems optimisation, internet bottlenecks, server issues or as we find more often than not – outdated computer systems.
The average PC user in the UK can spend 130 hours each year waiting for their computer to load!
Desktop computer hardware is increasingly more reliable; Fujitsu, Dell and HP systems can easily operate for 5 years. The demands on a modern IT system are increasing, Windows 10, Office 365 and key line of business applications put greater demands on your computer systems, taxing the storage, CPU and memory.
The inability for your ageing system to keep up will result in a noticeable slowdown to the end-users. Excel takes an age to open a large spreadsheet, export routines from Sage freeze, opening multiple tabs in Chrome causes the hard disk to grind – all symptoms of underperformance.
Digital Downtime in numbers
There have been several studies that attempt to quantify the impact of poor IT performance and slow PCs on the bottom-line. Sandisk estimated that the average PC user in the UK can spend 130 hours each year waiting for their computer to load! Taking those figures with a pinch of salt and using a figure of 50 hours per year, that is still a significant amount of “Digital Downtime”. Ignoring the computer load times, other reports state that productivity can be impacted by up to 5 minutes per hour due to computer hangs, pauses or delays.
So what is the cost?
Quantifying the commercial impact is a straight forward exercise.
- Assume a user experiences slowdown for 5 minutes each hour, and they work 7.5 hours per day.
- This translates to a loss of productivity for almost 40 minutes each day, or around 3 hours per week.
- In a year, that is approximately 145 hours per year of lost productivity. (220 days x 40 minutes).
- With a salary of £20,000 per year (~£12 per hour), that is an estimated opportunity cost of £1,740 per user (excluding employers NI).
There are many variations of the above; the amount of time it takes to boot a PC in the morning, the time needed to call your IT support company or paying a third party to troubleshoot an issue. As the saying goes, good money after bad.
The costs may increase as you take into account your supervisors, managers or directors. As they say – time is money! If you imagine six workstations dating back to 2009, that could be costing you £10k per year – yet these could be replaced for £2-£3k.
What about the operating system?
Putting aside the issue of hardware for one minute, you also have to consider the operating system.
Windows 7 goes EOL (end of life) in January 2020 – now is the time to switch to Windows 10
Invariably older PCs still have old versions of Windows installed. This may include Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows XP (but hopefully not!). Windows 10 is the latest flagship OS and whilst this delivers many improvements, simply put – the experience will not be great on pre-2015 hardware.
What is the solution?
There are a few options.
- Upgrade your existing PCs. You could add more memory or upgrade the SSD. This may provide a performance boost but you need to understand the root cause before commencing an upgrade process. You also have to factor in the added cost of someone doing the upgrade. Wefind SSD offers a very good upgrade when disk I/O is the root cause. Do not overlook the OS though. Combining Windows 10 and SSD is a good option.
- ‘Service’, tune-up or reinstall the PC. Many slowdowns can be caused by a build-up of old files and clutter, causing slowdown to the OS and applications. Often a complete rebuild and reinstall of the PC can speed things up. However, you simply cannot get away from the fact that an old PC is often ….. old and slow. Remember the ‘good money after bad’ statement.
- Replace. A simple solution is to replace – invariably delivering a positive ROI. Replacing the PCs with a modern desktop or laptop from a vendor such as Fujitsu or Dell should inject a new level of performance, make boot times faster and improve productivity to the end users. Modern computing is more affordable than ever, with powerful desktops available from as little as £400.00. When a tune-up makes no sense, often the best solution is to purchase new systems rather than continue with the slow PC cost.
- Change the IT delivery model. A move to thin-clients or ‘cloud computing’ offers another upgrade path rather than simply replacing the ‘tin’. In a hosted desktop environment, it is the server that does the grunt work, meaning there is very little resource required on the end user’s PC. MTG has seen a growing shift from traditional desktops to cloud environments, often with positive results. The pros and cons of cloud-delivered IT are beyond the scope of this article, but a change in the IT delivery model is another viable path towards quicker IT.
Eliminate Digital Downtime
Rid your business of Digital Downtime and the costs associated with slow PC hardware. Speak to MTG about auditing your existing IT environment, identifying sources of slowdown and making pragmatic recommendations for improvement.
- For clients whose IT is managed by MTG, we already have a record of how old your hardware is, its warranty status, the OS age and your upgrade paths.
- For new customers, MTG regularly audits environments and make recommendations that suit both your needs and your budget.
Speak to us today or use the contact form on our website.
How we can help?
- Our team can run an automated audit of your network, identifying all desktop, laptop and server hardware in-use.
- Our systems will connect to vendor systems to determine the age and warranty status.
- We can formulate a replacement plan/budget with you, replacing the ageing hardware with modern equivalents.
Speak to us today or use the contact form on our website.
IT as a Service
IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) is an IT delivery model offered by MTG that provides end-user compute and IT services as an operational expense (opex). By charging a fixed monthly fee, our customers get a high performance IT environment, delivered using traditional desktops, modern cloud services or a combination of the two (hybrid).
ITaaS offers a predictable monthly fee and our IT support service ensures the desktop, server and cloud environments are always optimised – delivering consistently high levels of performance, eliminating any trace of “Digital Downtime”