The people that work in the IT field know about upgrading and updating computer equipment. The SMB owners.. not so much.
I’ve had a couple interesting experiences recently with clients. I was busy trying to tell them that Windows XP was no longer going to be supported and that they should get new PCs. One client wanted pricing also for upgrading their current Core2 Duo PCs. We got them quotes for both, showing a difference of $800 total between upgrading multiple PCs and just getting new ones. Now we wait to see if they make the right choice.
The other client flat out told me that his server and PCs should last them 10-15 years. Nothing I said changed that idea in his mind. I fear for this client as they already have been hacked (see my previous post about that), and of course are setting themselves up for more pain like that.
I let my clients know that every 3-5 years they should be getting new computer equipment. Not only will they get faster machines with newer OSes that should be more secure, but their efficiency will be as good if not better, and they will have machines that are back under warranty. Now I understand that in a world where big ticket purchase do tend to last a long time (Cars, TVs, Appliances, etc…), they feel that should be the same way with computers. Add on that leasing the equipment doesn’t make a lot of sense financially either. So what is one to do, outside of explain to them the reality of the situation.
First off, set a hard date for when you will stop supporting the older OSes, and let your clients know that date. This not only gives them a solid time frame for which to make the changes, but puts the pressure on them.
Second, explain how going to newer equipment makes sense. Touch on speed of the new machines, security, warranties, and that the competition won’t wait for them to catch up.
Finally, let them know that the cost to upkeep the old equipment is not worth it. In the long run they save more by staying current with their equipment, especially as parts become rare.
There is no way to force a company to purchase newer equipment. The bottom line on all of this is to get the higher ups to understand that old equipment hurts the company in the long run. Hopefully, they are willing to listen to you, after all they have brought you on as the expert.