Aging and badly maintained hardware is a major source of dissatisfaction with computer systems. Old computers not only break down more often, they often have compatibility issues with newer software/hardware. This adds mystery and complexity to problem solving when something goes wrong.
Typically CLCs will wait till computers are pretty dysfunctional before they get replaced. Replacing computers involves a lot of unnecessary approval at several levels which further discourages the speedy replacement of broken down parts of the network.
Not just the computers but the server, the cabling the router, etc.
This can be addressed by agreeing to a hardware replacement policy. (NB. A similar policy could be developed for software).
A hardware replacement schedule template is provided within a more detailed discussion on this topic in the itango site.
The way to approach is as follows
- List all computer hardware, including cables and small things like backup disks.
- Estimate of how much this would cost (to replace brand new)
- Decide on a time period that everything should be replaced (eg 4 years?)
- Divide the total cost by the time period and budget to spend that much each year. And make sure you spend it.
- Get approval from your board/Management Committee to spend this much each year on the IT equipment listed in the schedule.
- Make sure the budget is fully spent. (ie its not a wish-list)
This provides a clear pathway for the budgeting and purchase of hardware every year.
Up to date hardware provides a level of clarity about your system that just isn't there with a mix of old and new stuff.