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TMCNet:  Study Uncovers Potential Loss of Nearly $2 Billion by Canadian SMBs Using Older technology

[October 09, 2019]

Study Uncovers Potential Loss of Nearly $2 Billion by Canadian SMBs Using Older technology

Intel and Microsoft study reveals cost of using a PC older than four years outweighs cost of buying new device

TORONTO, Oct. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Still own a PC or laptop older than four years old? Chances are you are spending more on its upkeep than buying a new modern device, reveals a new study from Techaisle, a leading global SMB IT market research and analyst organization, commissioned by Intel and Microsoft.

The study, which included in-depth interviews and analysis among 175 SMB organizations in Canada*, found the average cost of keeping a PC more than four years old is CA$1,710 per device per year - enough to replace the aging hardware with at least one new device. PCs older than four years old are also 4.6 times more likely to undergo repairs, resulting in an average 196 hours of lost productivity per device.

The study findings point to the significant broader impact of Canadian SMBs having PCs older than 4 years. According to StatsCanada, there are approximately 1.2 million SMBs in Canada. They represent 98.8 per cent of all employee businesses and contribute more than 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Given the scale, it means that the collective cost of every SMB entity in Canada having just one PC older than four years, as the study found, equates to nearly CA$2 billion dollars of lost productivity per year.

However, the study indicates the impact is significantly higher given the number of businesses that have older devices. Despite the impact on loss of productivity and repair costs, not only do 100 per cent of SMBs included in the study reported having PCs older than four years, 46 per cent of PCs are four or more years old overall. Furthermore, 50 per cent of SMBs either do not have a ech refresh policy – or do not follow the policy.

"Over the next few years, newer technologies such as 5G, AI, Blockchain, IoT, and other cloud-based systems will continue to provide opportunity for businesses to transform. We are already working on some incredible innovations in partnership with SMBs in Canada," said Phil Vokins, Cloud Services Director Intel Americas and Canada. "But no matter where businesses are on their transformation journey, managing technology lifecycles and where the technology interfaces with the employees is critical. Beyond the very real impact on productivity and maintenance costs, older PCs can compromise cyber security, as well as overall employee engagement."

Beyond impact on cost and productivity, the study highlights other key considerations when it comes to technology lifecycles. Security continues to be top-of-mind – both within the C-suite and for IT professionals. The study indicated 50 per cent of SMBs reported experiencing a breach in the last year alone.

The biggest security concerns cited by SMBs included: virus or other malware attacks (55%), data theft by employees or others (39%), network intrusions (37%), identify theft (35%) computing device being stolen or lost (26%), and transaction security (18%).

"Today's workplace devices have reshaped the face of business and SMBs are reimagining work and how they engage their customers, optimize their operations, and transform their products," said Travis Ames, VP of Consumer and Devices, Microsoft Canada. "With Windows 7 end of support coming up, we want to ensure businesses are refreshing to the latest version of Windows in order to continue to keep their customer data and IP safe, while empowering employees and boosting productivity."

The frequency of security breaches and data theft increases significantly for PCs older than four years, averaging 27 per cent higher compared to PCs less than four years old. The survey also found that SMBs sited 'better security' as a key positive impact of new PCs (by 70% of SMBs).

In addition, 'security features' was the number one feature for SMBs when considering purchasing a PC (by 37%).

About Intel:
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), a leader in the semiconductor industry, is shaping the data-centric future with computing and communications technology that is the foundation of the world's innovations. The company's engineering expertise is helping address the world's greatest challenges as well as helping secure, power and connect billions of devices and the infrastructure of the smart, connected world – from the cloud to the network to the edge and everything in between. Find more information about Intel at and

Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Study methodology:

*The Intel-Microsoft Canada SMB PC Study was conducted in April-May 2019 and involved 175 respondents from the Canadian market.

  • Respondents were IT and business decision makers
  • 175 completes were achieved – unique SMBs
  • Sample included SMBs across various sizes with up to 499 PCs
  • Sampling quota was fixed by size of business by no. of PCs


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