Many Canadian corporations have a false belief that they are saving money by postponing capital expenditure on aging fleets of desktop and notebook PCs, according to a panel of Canadian experts.

This was the theme of a recent roundtable discussion entitled “Are you Getting the Most Out of Your IT Investment?”, hosted by Intel Corp. of Canada in Toronto.

Doug Cooper, country manager for Intel of Canada, who acted as moderator for the event, said the current soft economy has caused a slowdown in the corporate client refresh cycle, and by sharing best known methods (BKM) of deployment of IT, the group hoped to shed some light on the lifecycles of desktop and notebook PCs.

“What we found is that 25 per cent or less (of Canadian businesses) expect to refresh (PCs) on a three-year basis,” Cooper said.

Many Canadian businesses have been pushing the need to replace both infrastructure and software within their corporations from three years to as high as four years, said Vito Mabrucco, group vice-president for IDC Canada Ltd. in Toronto.

As a result, businesses with older PCs face increasing failure rates; potential security holes on systems with operating systems that are not up-to-date; a decline in support for older operating systems; and the inability to use newer software.

Mabrucco said there are nine million installed units in the Canadian corporate market that are facing a refresh period, after being installed in 1998 or 1999. He estimated that 60 per cent of those installed desktops and notebooks are over three years old.