Hardware Replacement Strategy
Decision making takes a different form when in emergency mode. It’s been proven that decisions made under duress are often wrong (and more expensive). With our Account Management solution, our clients get an annual budget overview before the new fiscal year starts, with quarterly detailed budgets with hardware that needs to be replaced. We’ve done the research on statistically how long hardware is reliable and recommend replacement on the following timetables:
Useful Age Timeframe
- 60 Months – Infrastructure (Servers, switches, firewalls, wireless access points, battery backups)
- 48 Months – Workstations and Laptops
Technology hardware’s only value is the use that we can get out of it. This point becomes painfully clear when trying to resell a used piece of hardware. Our philosophy is to buy the exact specification of hardware that a business requires without trying to guess on future hardware requirements. For example, on physical servers, we make a list of the software that runs on the server and the size of the data storage currently. We go with the minimum server hardware that will run the current workload. The result is that our server replacement costs are typically 60% lower than competitors bids. Occasionally we will need to do a hardware upgrade to accommodate a new business application but 99% of the time, the lower specification server works great for its expected life cycle and the client saves thousands of dollars.
For workstations and laptops, we have a standard hardware specification that we keep on the shelf, ready for deployment. This configuration works for all but the engineering grade workstations that some designers need. By standardizing on a single platform, we can streamline the setup and configuration processes and keep costs low.
Bottom line is this; when we proactively replace hardware based upon industry standard reliability periods, we can significantly reduce costs and downtimes. At Philantech3 most of our revenue comes from flat-rate support contracts. We won’t lose sight of that by inflating the prices of replacement hardware. We know that when we stick to the recommended hardware replacement schedule, unplanned downtime and outages almost disappear. Truly a win-win.