It's Time for an IT Refresh

Charlene OHanlon
Summer is here, which means a new crop of college graduates has hit the job market. And even though available jobs are few and far between, it's a safe bet those recent grads lucky enough to find a job will be entering a world where the average workplace computer is five years old and an in-house wireless network doesn't exist or is poorly set up and maintained.

For this generation, born around 1990, when cell phones were becoming more prevalent, fax machines were widespread and CDs had rendered cassette tapes obsolete, technology is a part of life. Inside the classroom were interactive whiteboards to replace chalkboards, digital projectors to replace the antiquated reel-to-reel film projectors and computer labs to replace the stand-and-deliver method of teaching. Outside the classroom were cell phones for constant contact, laptops for anywhere computing, interactive video game controllers, instant movie downloads the list goes on. My point is that, as noted in a recent survery from CompTIA, this latest crop of college grads has grown up immersed in technology, and the IT-as-an-afterthought mindset of many companies won't mesh well with the expectations of these workers.

It's time for companies to catch up. Consumers on average upgrade their smartphones every 18 months or so and their computers every 24 months or so. Companies, however, prolong cell phone upgrades for employees to about three years and PC refreshes occur closer to every five years. It's no wonder more employees are demanding to use their own devices on the corporate network - they're faster and more up-to-date, which can enhance the user's productivity exponentially.

With a plethora of collaborative technologies on the horizon that have the power to increase that productivity even more, it behooves companies to compress the IT lifecycles. Spending more on IT today can pay off in spades through happier, more useful and more productive employees of any age.

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