If you ever need to make a decision about purchasing IT systems you need to ask "Does this make it harder to support or cost more?"
If the answer is "Yes" then you need our 6 tops tips:
Nine times out of ten it is more cost-effective to simplify systems rather than add a bolt-on solution. Our top tips are:
- Reduce vendor "hand-offs" - This is when you buy something from one vendor and then something else from another. The two items ship a different times, have different warranties, you have two providers to work with.. two too many!
- Reduce "Technical hand-offs" - Let's pretend you have a HP computer and you buy an LG monitor. When you get home, you find it works well but it doesn't turn off properly. - Now you don't know if it's the monitor or the computer at fault. - so you don't know which support line to call.. and calling either will result in a blame game for the other vendor.
- Support me! - When you think about support make sure you understand your needs. Don't pay for 24x7 support if you only need it weekdays. Don't pay for 4-hour response when 8 will probably get the same result of day without the service. If it's hardware support, check the vendor has stock in country.
- Warranty and Maintenance - What are you getting for the money? is it a replacement? Upgrade rights? Be clear on entitlements and think about the whole of life of the solution you are putting in. - Don't maintain something longer than you need it. in later years it may be better to have a "hot standby" or a backup handy to restore from. rather than pay for software support you can't engage because the system hasn't been upgraded
- Contracts & Lifecycle - Plan ahead, keep a contract register so you know when you need to make decisions. When is that photocopier contract finishing? What about the internet connection? - These are opportunities to reduce cost and provide better services.. don't ever auto renew any contract.
- Data - Where is the data? Can you get it back if the provider goes under? Can they resell your data? - Who exactly has access to it?
Hope this helps!