Technology refresh cycles are a familiar aspect of the IT industry. But why do vendors always seem to control the agenda?
The truth is that vendors rely on their customers to replace their systems regularly – approximately every three years, in-line with manufacturer warranty periods. This cycle allows them to virtually guarantee income in perpetuity. They even operate a “cost avoidance strategy” to help you better control costs built around a “choice”, for example:
- Buy brand new replacement hardware backed by a three-year warranty for £900,000, or
- Extend support on your existing assets for £1m
A £100,000 saving is quite attractive, so most will opt for the upgrade, starting the vendor agenda refresh cycle all over again. However, this headline saving quickly reduces when you consider other hidden costs of upgrades like downtime, increased risk, pressure on your existing resources, consultancy fees and a spike in total cost of ownership (TCO).
Do you even need to refresh?
Procurement may already operate a three-year depreciation schedule in their accounts, synced to the vendor’s refresh cycle. Others may operate five-year schedules, which means that assets have not fully depreciated by the time your vendor announces they are withdrawing support.
So, as you approach the end of the cycle, do you really need to replace your systems if they continue to perform as expected? The answer is no – as long as you can secure adequate post-warranty support from an experienced managed service provider to cover your hardware.
Exiting the vendor merry-go-round and extending the lifecycle of your “old” systems actually makes sense. Customised support services ensure assets continue to perform optimally, lowering the TCO and increasing your return on investment.
Choosing an experienced post-warranty partner
A partner with experience of working with post warranty and legacy systems can tailor a bespoke support service for your business. They can not only deliver the commercial benefits of retaining assets, but also ensure a high level of protection around your platforms.
Businesses who escape the refresh cycle note that they have exactly the same benefits – software subscriptions, service levels, repairs, spares inventory and more – but often with a much better level of support too.
In addition, working in a more strategic partnership can help customers take back control of their data centre strategy – and realise cost savings of more than 70% in some cases.
Ongoing support for older systems reduces CAPEX spend, allowing procurement and finance teams to shift renewals to OPEX accounting. By delaying capital expenditure, your team is able to release budget for investment in strategic projects that will drive new efficiencies and even greater cost savings. Again, this can be done without compromising the quality of service your organisation and its customers demand.
Maple has pedigree in the post-warranty support market, using our technical expertise and experience across multiple vendors to ensure any solution works with your existing infrastructure correctly. Reduced costs, less disruption, cheaper IT operations and a higher level of support – why would you want to restart the refresh cycle again?
To learn more about how to get the most from your vendor relationships, and how Maple can assist, please get in touch.