Your printers: choosing an upgrade cycle

Office hardware such as business printers or imaging devices can form a significant part of your capital expenditure. So once you've bought one, it's tempting to hang onto it until it finally falls over.

But doing so can be a false economy. Once a device is out of its warranty period, repairs will be more expensive.

And as the device increases in age, those repairs may be needed more and more frequently. What started as a cost-saving measure could end up costing you a packet - and if your printer fails on the eve of an important sales pitch or presentation, it could threaten your chances of success.

There are other reasons to keep up to date, too. You may also find that older devices cease to function when you, for instance, upgrade to a new version of Windows. Obsolete technology could end up holding you back - or increasing the total cost of upgrades when they become inevitable.

Many of the latest devices also include energy-efficient technologies such as quick power-on features, which can cut your energy bills.

The answer is to find the right upgrade cycle. Don't just wait for disaster to strike. Assess your business needs, and implement a rolling programme of upgrades. This may be three, four or five years depending on your organisation. Take into account the warranties of your existing devices, and their expected duty cycles, and other changes such as OS upgrades.

Disposal of your existing equipment must be in accordance with the European Union's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment regulations, which ensures old devices meet their end in an environmentally safe way, with many parts being recovered, recycled and re-used.

Whatever upgrade cycle you choose, make sure it's you who decides when and how to replace your printers - don't leave it to chance.

This article was brought to you as part of THINQ's Business Printing Hub in association with HP.