Key Factors That Impact Business
When evaluating the cost and value of upgrading, there’s a delicate
balance to be found between direct IT costs, end-user costs, and
With any upgrade, it’s important to account for the
full business use case and IT support model for all devices, ranging
from purchase, deployment, and IT administration to support, security,
and disposal—and everything in between.
We review the four key decision factors that have
the most significant impact on your business.
These factors include device
age, intended device usage, the degree of user mobility, and how the
device is managed.
• Device age – The age of the device can greatly impact user
productivity and the need for IT resources, becoming an important
factor in determining the right time to upgrade.
• Usage model – How an employee uses a device (primary or
secondary usage) to accomplish work has a significant impact
on required IT service levels and corresponding support costs.
• Employee mobility – How mobile an employee is can have a
significant positive impact on productivity, yet there is also the
added cost of maintaining and servicing mobile devices.
• Device management model – How IT chooses to manage an
employee device in terms of data security, application flexibility,
and business service delivery affects the support costs.
Determining the right time to upgrade devices is a critical decision
point for any enterprise.
It seems like a simple concept, but every
device has a useful life span. Many IT organisations establish a
strategic cadence for regular refresh, but choose to hold on to older
devices for practical reasons—from limited capital budget or IT
resources to potential disruptions in workflow. And as these devices
continue to age, organisations incur escalating IT support costs, while
users experience increased downtime.
When determining the right time to replace aging devices, it’s
important to consider the key areas that can quickly escalate costs:
Repair and Resale
• Specialised repair – Maintaining older devices adds costs
• Reduced availability for spare parts
• Added costs to inventory spare parts
• Specialised warranty coverage
• Specialised IT skills needed
• Repairs made out of warranty – Extending the original
manufacturer’s warranty coverage or paying for out-of-warranty
repairs can add up fast.
• Resale value – As devices age, the used hardware will have a
lesser value on the secondary market, if it’s sellable at all.
Impact on IT and Employee Resources
• Help desk – Older devices require more IT support, such as
troubleshooting, management, and repairs.
• Lost employee productivity – Employees spend more time
troubleshooting devices, which impacts productivity.
People spend up to three
days a year waiting for older devices to boot or load
• Malware protection – Older devices typically lack the security to
prevent and respond to today’s sophisticated malware attacks.
• Patch management and deployment – Additional security
measures such as frequent patching and operating system updates
can take valuable IT time and resources; if not managed well, these
can also result in user downtime.
Hardware and Software Compatibility
• Update history – Older devices are challenging to manage because
there are more configurations, application updates, and system
images for IT to navigate.
• Newer software – Some new software may not be able to run,
or can negatively impact system and application performance.
The way in which a device is used has a significant impact on the
degree of IT support required. For workers, it’s about having access
to applications and data with the flexibility to work across a variety
For IT, the focus is on the degree of support needed to
balance service quality against costs while maintaining proper data
security and availability to keep the business running efficiently.
There are two common usage models for devices, primary and
secondary, which dictate two very different support and cost models:
• Primary – This model represents the devices necessary for
accomplishing assigned work-related tasks and therefore receives
the full support of IT.
Primary devices are most commonly a
company desktop PC or laptop. However, for highly mobile workers,
tablets are also emerging as a popular option.
• The applications and software running on this device
typically include a full suite of business applications and
services fundamental to business process workflows, such
as inventory reporting, payroll processing, or file sharing
and enterprise collaboration.
• Proactive IT service delivery and support is required for
this device. If the device fails, there is a clear impact on
user productivity and business processes.
• Secondary – This increasingly popular model represents
complementary device usage for more flexible access to business
services from multiple locations. Secondary devices are most
commonly a phone or tablet, but could also be a home PC with
access to the corporate network.
• Workers may rely on secondary devices daily for a reduced set
of basic business services, such as e-mail access and content
consumption, gaining incremental productivity in the process.
• IT support includes securing data and information delivery,
with lower expectations for data availability and productivity.