IT Lifecycle Replacement

by | Nov 17, 2021 | Security

During a recent IT Assessment for a company, I was asked for budget recommendations for the IT department. To assist with this request, it is important to be familiar with the IT Lifecycle, which is defined as the start to finish process to procure, deploy, use, upgrade, decommission, and dispose of hardware like laptops, desktop computers, printers, and other technology equipment. 

IT Lifecycle can also be referred to as hardware refreshment, or asset management. Some lifecycle risks to consider include: 

  • Downtime 
  • Loss of data 
  • Lack of support 
  • Security 
  • Budget 

Average lifespan that you can expect for IT equipment: 

  • Desktop PC: 5-8 years 
  • Laptop PC: 3-5 years (Depends largely on use) 
  • LCD Monitor: 10+ years 
  • Cell phones: 4-5 years (but OS updates or feature changes typically drive shorter timeframes) 
  • Server: 3-5 years 
  • Copiers/Office printers: 10 years when owned; leased is typically replaced every 3 years 
  • Network desktop printer: 5 years 
  • Chromebook: guaranteed a minimum of 5 years of updates after the original release date 
  • iPad: life cycle is an average of 3-5 years 
  • Network Equipment: Gartner’s modeling suggests optimal refresh lies between 3½ – 4½ years, versus the average 5 – 7 years. 


You should compare the cost of maintaining existing equipment to the cost of purchasing new equipment. Between operations and finance, companies can get rid of technology too soon or too late. Finance and maintenance drive lifecycles. Companies must perform their own maintenance after warranties have expired. Manufacturers use maintenance as an incentive to drive the customer to replace current inventory.  

There are hidden costs associated with keeping equipment older than 4 to 4.5 years: 

  • They cost 59 percent more to support.
  • They take up to 50 percent longer to perform some tasks. Today’s desktops have two times the performance of a three-year-old desktop.
  • There are 53 percent more security breaches.
  • Older devices use 50 percent more energy.  (We also have a blog offering tips on how to reduce energy costs in your data center).
  • Older devices are seldom under warranty. Most companies purchase a three-year extended warranty. Recent studies estimate the failure rate in year four is about 24 percent, twice the rate in year one.

Is your environment supported? If you aren’t sure, or you would like some help determining your next step, please reach out to Peters & Associates at