AS THE civil service faces major security risks after failing to upgrade its computers' operating system, a new study has found that employees of small businesses lose up to a week a year because of old computers.
Slow computer performance and hours lost due to repairs were some of the most common time-wasters among older machines. Others included taking too long to boot-up, incompatibility with mobile devices and vulnerability to viruses.
The study found that two-thirds of small businesses have moved away from a PC-replacement policy to save money. Half of the small businesses surveyed cited budget constraints as a key reason for not replacing older computers, in spite of frequent issues and lost productivity. The survey, which examined small businesses in the US, Brazil, China, Germany, Russia and India, was commissioned by IBM.
"These small businesses should re-evaluate their decision given the higher cost of maintaining older PCs, which has a larger cumulative effect on the budget," said the research. It concluded that it is more cost-effective for businesses to replace rather than repair computers that are older than four years – which 36pc of small businesses own.
The civil service is facing major security problems after failing to replace or upgrade its own computers. The bulk of these use an outdated Microsoft operating system for which the tech firm will soon stop issuing new protective updates.