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It’s no secret that businesses large and small have put
their IT budgets under pressure, typically delaying their PC refreshes and
leaving users with laptop or desktop computers that are 4 or 5 years old.

But a new study conducted by market research firm Techaisle shows that delaying
PC purchases can actually cost businesses more on system failures, viruses,
lost productivity and ongoing maintenance.

The new study shows that 26 percent of small businesses and 43 percent of
midsized businesses are planning to keep their PCs longer than they normally
would. That’s in spite of the fact that the average SMB IT budget has grown by
4.6 percent, according to the study.

But that tactic could cost the businesses more than they bargained for in the
long run. Adding the costs of maintenance, upgrades and out-of-warranty
service, small businesses will pay $545 per year for the PCs they keep in
service past three years, and medium businesses will pay $709.

Older PCs are also more vulnerable to security breaches, according to the
report, which shows an increase of up to 58 percent in virus incidents with PCs
over 3 years old. Once infected, users experience a 23 percent increase in
related downtime to fix desktop systems and a 22 percent increase for notebooks.

Older PCs can pose a number of other problems, too, from hard drive failures to
motherboard failures to network card breakdowns to power supply failures.

Hard drive failures on newer PCs totaled 8 percent, compared with 33 percent on
older PCs. Motherboard failures on newer PCs totaled 4 percent, compared with 14
percent on older PCs. Network card breakdowns totaled 6 percent on newer PCs,
compared with 26 percent on older PCs. And new PCs experienced power
supply failures 11 percent, compared with failures among 49 percent of older