The REAL cost of a slow or unstable system!

The REAL cost of a slow or unstable system!

Oct 1, 2009

It never ceases to amaze me the number of sites we are called out to that are running unbearably slow and / or unstable systems. A task that should take 5 minutes can end up taking 15 minutes or longer. Another observation is the number of people that “put up” with errors or a system that is unstable. They are confronted with error screens or alerted to issues on their system and when asked “has that every happened before” they reply “Yes, that happens all the time but we just click ok or reboot the machine”.

In 90% of cases the slow response times of machines such as this also lead to the instability and errors. Some of the problems are caused by the user. When a system isn’t responding in a timely manner the user often gets frustrated and starts clicking ahead which in fact makes the whole thing a lot worse. Other problems are caused by tasks timing out, threading issues and file operation problems.

A slow or unstable computer system isn’t productive. We often see systems where people go and have a coffee while they wait for something to complete and the sad part is that they accept it – “its always been like that”. You may be shocked to find out the dollar value of what this is costing you. A simple excercise you could try is taking note of the number of seconds or minutes you wait for things in an hour and then multiply if by the number of hours in a day and then a week and then multiply it by what you are worth an hour and then you have a rough dollar value of what a slow or unstable system is costing you not to mention the stress, frustration and heartache.

The solution isn’t always expensive, some options include:

  • More RAM: Some of the slow systems we see were built when RAM (Memory) was expensive. Many systems only have 256mb or 512mb of RAM. Computers love RAM. A computer can do things infinitely faster in RAM compared to that of accessing the Hard Disk. Adding additional RAM to a computer is cheap. Adding RAM often gives a computer a new life, a system that was ready for the scrap heap can suddenly become the fastest machine in the office.
  • Call a Technician: Although calling a technician in to look at your system may cost you, it is the quickest way to find out what is causing the issues. In many cases there is often something simple that has gone wrong and a quick alteration has your computer running as good as new. A qualified technician should be able to tell you within a couple of minutes whether the system is worth saving and the options you have to improve performance.
  • Upgrade: Customers are often shocked at how cheap computers are these days. Their old clunker of a machine may have cost thousands in its day and there is a fear of spending thousands again but this isn’t the case. Generally your monitor, keyboard and mouse often don’t require replacement leaving only the tower to be upgraded. Replacement towers can start as little as $389.

Nobody likes to spend money but at the end of the day a computer system needs to be seen as a tool. When a tool is broken or isn’t performing it makes sense to get it fixed or replace it so that you can get back to work. My advice is to seek advice and get your tools sharpened. The cost of getting things fixed is a small price to pay when it comes to saving your sanity.

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