Unfortunately, at this point it is no secret that most of us are facing some form of an economic downturn. Many organizations curtail all possible spending in a recession, budgets are cut, staffs are reduced, and new hardware purchases are often eliminated. During these difficult economic periods, cost-cutting measures are prudent, even necessary for companies struggling to survive. Suspending hardware investments can prove shortsighted. Eliminating system replacements and PC upgrades may end up making an organization's predicament worse. Feel free to contact your River Run representative and let us help you make good, cost effective decisions.
There are a few things to think about regarding IT spending and making the most out of your IT dollar. Here are a few reasons why new hardware purchases shouldn't be delayed - even during a recession.
1. Equipment still wears out
As bad as an economic recession becomes, one fact doesn't change - hard disks, motherboards, displays, and other components still fail. The laws of physics don't rest just because the economy is in turmoil. Electrical surges still occur, mechanical failures continue, and life cycle expectancy keeps marching along. Simply put - PCs, servers, network components, and other business-critical items will fail, even in a recession.
2. Downtime is expensive
Older equipment fails more often. During economic downturns, outages and downtime have even more of an impact when fewer staff members are available to diagnose the failure, identify appropriate fixes, and possibly replace the failed component.
Depending upon the situation, a single failure can prevent employees from accessing CRM systems, entering sales, billing clients, printing invoices, answering customer inquiries, processing claims, dispatching service personnel, and otherwise fulfilling critical operations. When hardware fails, sales plunge, revenue is lost, and an organization's financial standing declines.
3. Running older hardware longer costs more
Trying to squeeze a few extra years out of workstations and servers may actually end up costing organizations more in the long run. When you look at costs, particularly around a four- to six-year life cycle, it may seem like you are saving money, but really it's costing you because of the increase to your support costs. In the long run, these older systems wind up costing more in lost efficiencies, compatibility issues, service and maintenance, and downtime.
4. Productivity becomes the primary goal
When PCs, displays, or network switches fail, it may be tempting to visit an old parts closet to dig out replacements. Old, entry-level Celeron or Pentium powered PCs with 256MB of RAM and rattling power supplies won't help managers efficiently complete their newly acquired tasks. Nor will such machines enable overworked colleagues to run QuickBooks, CRM applications, or other proprietary programs smoothly.
The same is true for network equipment. Outdated hubs and routers were decommissioned for a reason. They were either too slow, failed to operate properly, or didn't meet the organization's needs. The subsequent delays and inefficiencies translate to lost opportunities, poor customer experiences, and less revenue.
5. New applications require greater resources
Many new technologies - everything from new versions of accounting and bookkeeping software to CRM tools and new server platforms, such as Windows Small Business Server 2008, have greater hardware requirements than the older platforms they replace.
Organizations are being forced to upgrade system hardware as programs become increasingly sophisticated and as Microsoft's desktop operating systems demand more computing power. Windows XP, for example, required only a Pentium 233-MHz CPU, 64MB of RAM, and 1.5GB of hard disk space, whereas Windows Vista Business's hardware requirements call for a 1-GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 128MB video RAM, along with 15GB of free disk space. Companies that choose to suspend hardware investments subsequently automatically forfeit the time-saving, cost-reducing advantages many new software applications deliver.
If you are thinking about purchasing new hardware or need some guidance in finding the best-fitting solutions that maximize your IT investments, feel free to contact your River Run Representative for some help.