Investing thousands of dollars into hardware to power an SMB isn’t something anyone takes lightly. But without the right research or expert advice, companies can end up paying more in the long run than if they had paid a little more up front. Whether it’s networking hardware or firewall hardware, here are 5 bad buying habits SMBs should avoid when considering upgrading.
Bad Habit #1 – Buying only what you need
Hardware purchases are expensive, and a typical SMB should think twice before spending lots of money on them. And while smart budgeting is good, many companies fall into the trap of spending as little as possible without considering how that strategy can actually cost more later. Data center hardware, networking hardware or firewall hardware: these investments can be added to over time. SMBs would do well to stop thinking of these purchases as a way to get by instead of a way to lay the groundwork for the next three to five years of their company’s success. Doing research (or talking to hardware experts) can help SMBs figure out the technology that makes sense for them now and
tomorrow. As weird as it sounds, spending more now can help you save later.
Bad Habit #2 – Buying without maxing out current hardware
Before SMBs invest in a new fleet of servers for their data center, they should ask themselves, “have we gotten the most out of our current setup?” Too many companies upgrade to new systems and discard hardware that (with the right upgrades) may have been able to shoulder the load for another year or more. It could also be that they upgraded too soon or purchased a solution that wasn’t right for them. Site surveys or looking at current benchmarks are ways to gauge system potential. For those using virtualization, the management software will show any inefficiencies and overprovisioned VMs so they can make adjustments to balance out workloads and boost efficiency. For storage, re-configuring RAID arrays can free up hard drives and increase capacity. There are many ways to get the most out of current hardware, and that’s why it’s important to do your due diligence or speak with an expert before committing to a hardware purchase.
Bad Habit #3 – Buying while leveraging the Cloud
Data center hardware is incredibly expensive, and thanks to an explosion in Cloud service providers, SMBs have tons of options at their disposal. Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) make it possible to run a data center completely within the cloud. While a typical SMB is probably better off with a hybrid storage approach, more options are always better. Keep in mind there are no up-front purchases or costs required for cloud services—all hardware is leased, so the savings for some companies could be significant.
Bad Habit #4 – Buying without disaster-proofing
When companies are making a hardware purchase, they can often overlook the worst-case scenario—and that’s also a mistake. There are several ways companies can potentially mitigate disasters should they occur. Every SMB should be asking themselves, “did I do all I could to protect my investment and ensure redundancy?” Investing in backup services, cloud architecture—even making sure each crucial computer has a dedicated UPS (uninterrupted power supply)—are all ways to safeguard an investment up front.
Bad Habit #5 – Buying the latest and greatest
New technology is typically exciting. Fancy marketing campaigns and slick designs can whip the target market into a frenzy as they begin to believe the shiny new product will solve their problems. What’s worse, though, is when people believe a product is superior simply because it’s newer. Now that’s not to sound anti-futurist. Technology is constantly evolving and improving, and the world is better for it in many ways. But newer technology isn’t without its caveats. There’s typically a higher price tag associated with the latest models, and technology that’s been around for a few iterations has been tested and proven. That’s why it’s important for SMBs with doubts to consult an expert when looking to upgrade or replace their hardware.
For more information on purchasing hardware and smarter buying strategies that can help your SMB customers, contact the hardware experts at Ingram Micro.
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