We’ve written this as a very tongue-in-cheek title, but honestly, isn’t it frustrating when you’re trying to get work done but your desktop or laptop regularly freezes, runs slowly, and is generally a pain in the proverbial backside? Not only does it get people’s backs up during the day making for a fractious work environment, but it can also absolutely obliterate productivity which means your business could be losing out. Never fear though, we’re here to talk about when to upgrade business computers to avoid all this.

How often should you replace business computers?

There’s no hard and fast rule to this, some businesses will have a higher tolerance for the use of older equipment than others. However, there is a helpful general rule which is that businesses should be looking to replace their IT hardware every 5 years.

Wait! Come back! Don’t panic!

This doesn’t have to be all in one go. Taking a rolling approach to replacing equipment means you won’t be spending out on replacing everything once every five years, instead you’ll be spreading the cost replacing 20% of your equipment per year.

The benefits of a rolling approach are two-fold:

  1. It makes it easier to budget for. If you know it’s coming, it’s less of an ouch
  2. You can minimise disruption by not giving everyone on your team a new desktop all at the same time. Your IT provider will have a smaller number of initial snagging issues/ inevitable password resets to deal with in one go, leaving the rest of your business working away nicely.

Why should laptops and desktops be upgraded every five years?

Good question. That isn’t just a number all of us IT professionals have got together and discussed as standard.

Allows for degradation

In that time, most machines will have started to run slowly and have issues that need to be repeatedly looked at by an IT supplier. This is often a big cause of staff frustration within businesses – talk to your employees – they’ve probably been quietly getting on with it for years!


We talk about security a lot because it’s so important! With old machines, often companies like Microsoft or Apple stop providing support and/or security patches for older operating systems. If you’re running old machines with old operating systems that are no longer receiving critical security updates, you could be vulnerable to cybercrime without even realising. Replacing hardware every five years will likely catch that.

Using new software

New software is designed and built with a certain spec in mind. That means if you’re running super old machines and have to perform a business-critical software upgrade, you’re going to be stuck until you can source new hardware for the software to run on. This means, oh no, the D word…. unscheduled DOWNTIME.

How do you know it’s time to upgrade business computers?

If you find you, or a member of your team is using a machine that’s:

Or, if you’re sitting at your desk one day and hear a battle cry before seeing a PC falling past your window and smashing in the car park below.

Sometimes repairs are possible, but if the same machine needs repairing over and over, you’ll likely find it more cost-effective to replace it, than try and help it limp along indefinitely.

Now is also a great time to do it before the end of the tax year, if you know it’s money you need to invest anyway.

Where to start upgrading business hardware?

More often than not, businesses are a mishmash of equipment depending on when employees started, the budget, whether people are working from home or in the office so you start by doing nothing.

Make a cup of tea, put your feet up, and give your IT provider a call. They’ll be able to conduct an audit of all of your equipment and make recommendations as to which machines could do with replacing first. They’ll also be able to help devise a schedule, so it’s not like ripping off a plaster all in one go!

How can you trust that we’re not going to say you need new equipment when it’s fine? We don’t actually make much money at all from selling hardware, we do it so that we know our IT support customers have the specification they need and aren’t caught out when they’re trying to purchase equipment themselves.

Please do get in touch if you’d like us to conduct an audit and help upgrade business computers, we’re here to help!