EOL (End of Life) Machines and their Risks
Using machines that have exceeded their lifetime is risky for your business. There are a variety of problems EOL (End of Life) machines can cause, and in the end, the risk isn’t worth taking. The industry standard for the lifetime of a computer is five years, when the vendor no longer supports the machine, warranty expires, or there are no further updates available for its OS.
Although some machines may still run after their EOL has been met, they will not run efficiently and are unreliable and risky for your company to use. It is vital to keep machines and software up-to-date for your company.
Risks of EOL Machines:
- The security of your machine (and business) is vulnerable. When updates are no longer available for your machine, it leaves gaps in the security and makes it easier for viruses/malicious content to sneak in. If the EOL machine is connected to your company’s network, all machines are increasingly vulnerable to security breaches.
- Newer software is not always compatible. When software is developed, it is designed to work with the newest operating systems. Without the newest software compatible for the right OS, you’re going to run into problems with the functionality of the software.
- If your business is in the healthcare field, EOL machines may not be in compliance with regulations. Trusting an unreliable machine with confidential patient information is hazardous. According to The HIPPA Security Rule, healthcare providers must “implement security measures sufficient to reduce risks and vulnerabilities.” It is easily arguable that using EOL machines are “risky and vulnerable.”
- Maintaining EOL machines is expensive. Imagine the cost of trying to keep an old car running. Replacing parts, in and out of the shop for a variety of reasons, costs of parts that aren’t manufactured anymore, and costs of labor to continue to make car run when you know it’s destined to break down eventually; the same goes for computers. Replacing the machine is always the better option.
- EOL machines run slower and are prone to breaking down. With a slow, unreliable machine your productivity is minimized and the risk of losing information is maximized.
How can I tell how old my computer is?
There are a couple different ways to see how old your computer is. One way is by checking the BIOS of your computer, which will give you a close estimate of the age. To access the BIOS, go to the start menu and search “System Information,” from there you’ll reach “System Summary.” On the System Summary locate “BIOS Version/Date.” Another option for a more accurate age, is looking up the machine’s serial number on the vendor’s website.
What should I do if my machine is EOL?
If your machine(s) has reached or exceeded its EOL, the best option is to replace it. Replacing them will enable the use of compatible software, save money, strengthen security, and increase the overall productivity of your company.
An efficient IT company will provide you regularly with information about machines that have reached their EOL and offer you different solutions to help you replace them. Risk assessments done by your IT company can help you prioritize machines that should be replaced first.
CTG Tech meets quarterly with our clients to lay out a growth plan (1-5 years) for the technological infrastructure of their company. We include EOL on servers and workstations, server disk space usage, cloud integration, security risk assessments, ect.