Many companies have been hard hit by the pandemic, impacting their IT budgets and causing their IT professionals to get creative. One topic that is under debate is hardware refresh cycle. Hardware refresh is vital to increase productivity and uptime – especially so with many staff members working remotely. Questions that you may consider in terms of your budget are: How can I eek another year out of my hardware? Or should I just bite the bullet and order new hardware? To help you with these decisions, here are three tips to consider prior to doing an IT hardware refresh.
Tip #1 – Refresh cycle, when is the best time?
The standard practice for most companies to do a hardware refresh is three to six-year cycle. Although this is typical, does your company need to follow it to the letter? Would it make better sense to delay your hardware refresh until your company would have a more “surer financial footing”?
Data Center Frontier offered the following scenarios between a 3 and a 6-year refresh cycle.
Further, Data center frontier shared their findings from a study spanning over 15 years regarding equipment reliability. Their findings showed that most server and storage equipment is highly reliable for 10+ years. Thus, possibly giving you a “green light” to put off your hardware refresh with your limited post-Covid IT budget.
Tip #2 – Cost saving hardware alternatives
However, you may have determined that an IT refresh is a must. There are alternatives that can help you lower your refresh expenses. As with most technology, equipment is the most expensive when it is first released. As a result, you can save approximately 25% off the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sales price if you wait six (6) months to one (1) year from launch or even 50% if you wait three (3) years.
If you’re searching for new hardware to solve performance, capacity, power, or speed complications, there is a cost-friendly option for new equipment. Have you thought of buying the previous generation of technology? Consider N-1 generation equipment (equipment that is one generation older than the current) as a solution to give you the upgrades you may need without the costly expense. You may be surprised at how well this alternative fits your needs at a significantly lower price point. Additionally, you will save downtime by getting the latest OEM firmware updates included with an N-1 product.
Tip #3 – Maintenance contracts: A necessary evil?
Maintenance support contracts are a high margin add on for OEMs. They specifically make post-warranty overpriced to entice you to buy the latest warrantied hardware. So, most think there are two (2) options:
- Upgrade the equipment before the warranty runs out, or
- Continue to pay the high post warranty support
Yet you have a third option. Look into a quality third party maintenance provider. These providers don’t use their support contracts to entice you to buy hardware. Therefore you can save 30 – 70% off the price of OEM post-warranty contracts. This gives you the room to extend your IT refresh cycles and allow you to get the full return on investment (ROI) value of the hardware.
As you can see, doing an IT refresh with a reduced budget is possible. There are different ways to save costs while allowing you gain the speed and performance your company needs.