Extended IT Support For Windows Servers And Windows PCs

In these difficult economic times many companies understandably want to extend Business IT Support and hardware maintenance on their Microsoft Servers and PCs for as long as they can.

But at some point the hardware will run out of warranty and it will become so old that your IT Support Company will be unable to provide adequate IT Support.

How Long Can You Extend IT Support On Old Computers?

Generally Servers and PCs will last for between 3 and 5 years.

There are 3 main reasons for this:

1. After 5 years it's almost impossible to get a warranty. That means if it breaks it's difficult to fix. Even if you could get a warranty it would be expensive compared to the cost of a new computer.
2. The version of software on the computer will be quite old. This may make it difficult to exchange information with people who have a more current version of the software despite the best efforts of your Business IT Support Company
3. Old computers are slow. Your users are likely to be frustrated. As far as they are concerned their PC or the network server will be getting in the way of them doing their work.

So by this stage it will be slow, won't interact well with more modern systems in the outside world and can't be repaired.

Limits On Managed IT Support Services

It will probably be too expensive for your IT Support Company to maintain your old computers. If you have a fixed price Managed IT Support Service there is likely to be a clause in the IT Support Contract that limits IT Support on old computers. After 5 years it's probably more expensive to keep an old computer than replace it.

Replacing your Server

Your servers are pretty fundamental, so it's important that you have an IT Support Contract for them. However Business IT Support isn't the whole picture - hardware maintenance is important too.

The performance and reliability of your servers will affect all of your staff, not just 1 or 2. After 5 years it's almost impossible to get a warranty, so if it breaks your IT Support Company probably won't be able to get it fixed for you.

Most businesses are so dependent on their servers that they cannot afford for that to happen. So, at the very latest it will need to be replaced when you can no longer get a warranty, or an IT Support Contract.

However you may need to replace it before then if it will not run the most recent version of an application that you must upgrade to. Or if the growth of your business means that it is no longer powerful enough for your requirements. Your IT Support Company should advise you of this.

Hardware Maintenance From Your IT Support Company

Believe it or not the hardware manufacturers are the best and the cheapest people for hardware maintenance. IT Support Companies are not particularly well geared up for hardware maintenance.

We would advise you to buy Dell servers and PC's. It's good quality kit and Dell will come to your site within 4 hours and repair the hardware. And because they manufactured the hardware, unlike the IT Support Company, they have the parts to fix it quickly.

All the others - Toshiba, Sony, Apple etc. - make you send the broken hardware to them. They will return it to you 2 weeks later usually with the hard drive wiped, so it will require a complete rebuild by your IT Support Company. Your IT Support Company should liaise with the hardware manufacturer when you do have a problem - after all that's why you're paying for an IT Support Contract!