The true lifespan of most hardware is closer to five years than after three years, when many vendors will push companies to upgrade, according to hardware refurbishment specialist World Data Products.
Market analyst Gartner believes that extending the lifespan of hardware can knock 10-20% off the total cost of ownership, so you need to monitor hardware usage very carefully.
World Data Products says there are a number of clear indicators that determine when it is time to ditch or upgrade your hardware. These include: changes in requirements or major falls in performance; rising maintenance costs; unacceptable levels of reliability; and incompatibility with new equipment added elsewhere on the network.
Boredom can also be a factor. You should recognise that your staff expect regular influxes of new technology. Reassigning equipment to less critical applications should maintain your people's interest without compromising cost.