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5 ways to improve IT hardware sourcing

Your IT hardware is an infrastructure investment. Get it right, and your business is equipped to fly. Get it wrong, and you could find yourself counting the cost in more ways than one.

There is much to consider before making an investment in IT hardware and equipment. Your devices need to be appropriate for the type of work you carry out, to support the way you operate and also to meet your budget. You need to consider how your business will evolve and how the technology you use will support that three to five years from now.

Sourcing the right IT hardware in the right way can be hard. But these 5 tips will make it easier and have you moving in the right direction.

Take a holistic approach

The way you buy your IT hardware should be part of an overall IT strategy. You need to balance demand planning with purchasing options and service & maintenance to get the best value and the best performance from your IT hardware. Typically, the lifecycle for your IT hardware will last between three and five years – it’s the point at which your kit will not be performing as well as it should, and replacing it is a better option that repairing it. Keep that in mind when specifying products and services.

Laptops are a better investment than desktops

Today’s workforce is mobile, which means that the demand for better performing laptops is rising. Any company making a serious investment in this area needs to look at the overall cost of equipment over a three to five-year cycle, and consider the relative loss of productivity caused by old or badly maintained machines. They also need to think about security risks (which is high with a remote/mobile workforce) as well projected demands on functionality and usability.

Look at outsourcing your servers

In-house servers are becoming obsolete, so we’d advise taking a long-term approach to how and where you store your data. Aside from being expensive to power and to keep cool, in-house servers require a reasonable amount of office space and maintenance. Switching some or all of your server requirements to an external provider takes care of security and maintenance as well as upgrades. It’s also easier to scale your data storage requirements with a good provider, which is one less thing to worry about as your business grows.

Get a handle on printing

Managed Print Services (MPS) should be under serious consideration because they provide equipment, consumables, security and maintenance in a single package. Given the relative cost of printing equipment and consumable, MPSs offer very good ROI. Relevant controls can also be put in place to manage security, improve efficiency and save you money.

Consider leasing

Much of your overall IT strategy will come down to managing the lifecycle of everything you use, including your hardware. Leasing your hardware is one way to effectively manage the lifecycle of the servers, laptops and printers. It allows you to upgrade every three to five years, keep your equipment serviced and to scale up and down as suits the business. It also mitigates the risk of your hardware giving up on you and the associated loss in productivity that ensues.

Final thoughts

Your IT hardware is a major investment. It’s also critical to the producitivity of your business and the ability of your staff to work well and to work effectively. As working culture changes and as technology evolves, so too will your IT hardware requirements. To keep up with the times:

  • Take a 360 view of your needs and be aware of how they’ll change
  • Outsource your servers for better performance, cash savings and peace of mind
  • Use an MPS to take care of all your printing needs
  • Lease your equipment to keep it fresh, working and cost-effective

For more advice and information on sourcing your IT hardware, visit itelgroup.co.uk

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