No business wants to risk falling behind the competition or failing to meet business requirements by relying on outdated hardware. But the reality is that in today’s uncertain economic environment, there are much more critical matters to attend to. Organizations everywhere are limiting capital expenditures, thus placing increased pressure on IT to meet budget concerns while still ensuring performance and reliability.
Case in point, no enterprise or SMB can afford to waste money on an ambitious hardware refresh right now without a compelling reason. And at Riverstone Technology, we believe that should be the mindset when it comes to your data center spend with or without a global pandemic. In fact, delaying those costly hardware refreshes is kind of what we’re all about! So take it from the experts, and check out Riverstone’s 5 tips for avoiding unnecessary hardware refreshes:
#1: Utilize both EOL and EOSL Support
Is your hardware actually outdated, or is it merely “obsolete” from the perspective of the OEM? In many (if not most) cases, end-of-life and even end-of-service-life hardware has plenty of life left and by no means requires immediate replacement. So if you’ve been feeling like the correct refresh cycle isn’t lining up with the one recommended by the manufacturer, that’s probably because it doesn’t! Offering comprehensive post-warranty, EOL, and EOSL support, third party maintenance providers can offer your organization greater latitude to manage the product lifecycle on your own timeline. By decelerating the refresh process, your enterprise stands to:
- Maximize the return on the incredibly large investments made in IT hardware
- Minimize the total cost of ownership, including mitigating maintenance costs
- Reduce capital expenditures on new infrastructure
#2: Conduct Regular Hardware Audits
Take the time to verify that equipment inventory matches what’s actually on the floor. Though it may seem obvious, this information can help guide your assessment of both current hardware capabilities as well as unmet needs. Furthermore, such an evaluation could present the opportunity reclaim hardware that’s rarely used, or even repurpose existing equipment through reconfiguration or a machine overhaul.
#3: Stay on Top of end-of-support Deadlines
The only way to avoid succumbing to the OEM’s urgency to refresh is knowing in advance which systems are reaching EOL/EOSL and when. Riverstone recommends that IT directors begin researching extended support 4 – 6 months in advance of their current system’s coverage expiration date. This gives your business adequate time to research alternatives, obtain some quotes, make room for budgetary considerations, and come to an educated decision on your own time – without the added pressure of manufacturer fearmongering. Subscribe to Riverstone’s monthly EOSL update service, and never let a support deadline sneak up on you again!
#4: Remember, “New Isn’t Always Better”
Be aware that deploying the latest hardware, as attractive as it may seem, has downsides. Early adopters often experience more issues with configuration, testing, and deployment and wind up serving as unpaid product testers for the manufacturer. In fact, customer-identified flaws are a primary reason significant microcode updates are common in the first two years of product lifespan. Those who actually buy in later gain all the advantages of the early adopters’ experience, without suffering through the bug hunt. Obviously there are certain cases where consistent three-year refresh cycles are not only preferred, they are mandatory. But if your organization does have the leeway to wait a few more years and be among the early or late majority, you should see significant benefits.
#5: Create a Technology Roadmap
Many businesses don’t seem to understand the importance of mapping out what technology they’re currently using, and what technology they will need in the future. But an IT roadmap is something that every organization should have – it helps you understand what your current IT infrastructure can handle and whether it is capable of supporting future business goals and objectives. The benefits are abundant: you’ll save costs by removing unnecessary or inefficient applications and technology, you’ll increase productivity by implementing the right technology to meet business goals, and you’ll also help IT leadership be more strategic/informed when making investment decisions or infrastructure improvements. Because if technology isn’t managed with a plan for the future, you risk losing any competitive advantage it might have otherwise given you.
Refreshes should be scheduled to suit your business’s needs—not the OEM’s. If you’ve come to the conclusion that slowing down the refresh cycle is the right move for your organization, give us a call at (877) 819-6757. We can help ensure performance and reliability, while you simply wait for the right time to upgrade!