The two goals at the top of every IT purchasing decision maker’s list are: 1) reduce costs and 2) extend the functional life of IT assets. Easy, right? We’re kidding. Achieving bottom-line oriented goals while keeping up with the technical demands of a modern data center is among the most challenging aspects of an IT leader’s job. That’s why data center and procurement leaders turn to resources like Gartner.
Gartner Research is a highly influential leader in technology business insights, and the analysts at Gartner frequently release detailed reports covering everything from top technologies to trends in managed services. One of Gartner’s most recent reports, titled “Used Hardware Resellers Offer Hardware and Support Cost Savings,” identifies opportunities for IT leaders to achieve bottom-line oriented goals while limiting impact on innovation by purchasing used hardware and entering into Third-Party Maintenance (TPM) agreements.
The article states, “IT procurement professionals are increasingly evaluating used-hardware resellers and third-party maintenance providers to reduce costs and extend the functional life of IT assets.” The analysis goes into further detail, explaining why IT procurement professionals seek used hardware and TPM solutions and how to take advantage of the cost savings associated with these options.
The most important take-away from the report centered on tactically implementing used IT hardware and strategically determining which assets should be maintained by a TPM provider. Planning is important when developing a cost-savings strategy around these solutions. Some of the top strategic recommendations from Gartner include:
- Utilize used-hardware resellers to purchase non-critical, post warranty, end-of-sale, or end-of-support hardware.
- Use TPM for non-critical, post-warranty, end-of-sale or end-of-support hardware, especially if that hardware has a high product density.
- Seek consulting (typically at no charge) to evaluate which devices should be considered within a used-hardware strategy and what level of TPM coverage is appropriate for a range of used-hardware.
- Use support from used-hardware resellers and TPM providers when flexible terms and conditions are required.
What Gartner is essentially suggesting is to consider leaving only your brand new, just released technology in the hands of the OEM, and take advantage of the flexibility and cost savings that a used hardware reseller and third-party maintenance provider can offer around the remaining assets—especially high-density assets. That’s what we typically suggest to our clients here at CentricsIT as well. A well-rounded, strategic IT procurement strategy has to keep bottom-line oriented goals in mind, but balance those goals with the intention to drive the state of the organization forward with the latest technology. When implemented effectively, both used-hardware purchasing and TPM solutions can actually drive innovation by making room in the budget for upgrades and refreshes.
It’s important to note that Gartner is not the only research firm to suggest alternatives to OEM data center maintenance and support. Accenture indicated TPM as a “no-brainer” in its most recent IT spend trends report.
If you need help formulating a strategic IT procurement strategy, contact our experts at CentricsIT. We offer a comprehensive array of customizable IT solutions to guide you through all aspects of the IT lifecycle. From hardware procurement, through maintenance and support, to IT asset disposition and value recovery—CentricsIT delivers award-winning solutions that maximize value, increase ROI, and lower total cost of ownership in the data center.