In Albert’s Corner this month, a look at planning for hardware lifecycles.
As always, there’s plenty of malware/ransomware news this month, but I’m feeling the need for a break from all the dire warnings, aren’t you?
Cyber-threats deservedly get the lion’s share of a business owner’s attention these days, but there are other considerations in the IT profile of a successful business. Even with so much of our computing moving to the cloud, the hardware you have on premises continues to be vital … and costly. Let’s take a look at maximizing your investment.
Many business owners are great at planning … until it comes to their hardware profile. Then they adopt a “wait ‘til it breaks, then repair/replace it” attitude. Which is fine, except that things tend to break at the worst possible times. Better would be to put your upgrades on a schedule. Decide what the useful life for a desktop, notebook PC and server are in your particular environment and lay out a plan to upgrade and replace according to that schedule.
That may seem to fly in the face of the old, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” axiom, but replacing a predetermined number of units each quarter allows you to budget and plan, and can actually keep costs down by avoiding emergencies. You control the process instead of spending too much time reacting to hardware catastrophes.
And replacing a unit doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of it. Take a look at who your power users are, in contrast to those with less demanding IT needs. The power users might require new hardware on a regular basis, but you can hand their existing machines down to the other group. This can help you to extract another year or more of service from an older PC.
Consider also the use of extended warranties. In the right circumstances, these can give you 3, 4 or even 5 years of reliable service, secure in the knowledge that if repair is required, it won’t be coming out of your pocket.
To be fair, there are a couple of wild cards in all this. One is the OS: if Microsoft launches a new version of Windows and decides to stop supporting the one your older machines are running, the discussion changes quite a bit. Chances are, though, that those PCs have already served you well for a long time. And newer versions of software may demand increased processing power … we see this quite often in industry-specific programs, but the newest version of MS Office has also put quite a strain on many older PCs.
Need help laying out a plan to get the most from your hardware? Contact us.
Albert Blaize is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for TRG Networking. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.