10 Considerations Before Buying New Technology
Should your business lease or buy equipment? The answer depends on your situation. Leasing equipment can be a good option for business owners who have limited capital or who need equipment that must be upgraded every few years, while purchasing equipment can be a better option for established businesses or for equipment that has a long usable life.
Many companies offer a lease model which includes support and maintenance and will replace it with newer equipment as it ages. The costs are spread over the life of the device, it often works out cheaper than when you buy – and you can scale up or down as required.
Each business is unique, however, and the decision to buy or lease business equipment must be made on a case-by-case basis.
This week we explore what you should take into account when you next consider to buy your equipment:
- Is it the right device for what you need? Not all IT is created equal. Many businesses think they’ll save by buying their hardware off the shelf from a retail supplier or using a free router in their network. The $500 laptop from a local retailer will not perform as reliably as a business class device, and the support costs may end up being much higher over the total life of the device (which could be much shorter). IT Providers will offer you a range of solutions, all fit for purpose
- How long will you need it for? Bringing in a temp to help with a short project and need to get them a device? Buying a device outright means you own it forever, even if you only need it for a few months. Some IT providers will offer a short term lease for you where you can return to base when it is no longer needed.
- What are you going to do with it when you no longer need it? It might seem like a good idea to stick that PC in the storeroom till it is next required but that means it will not get the updates it needs to stay secure. And if you are thinking of selling it then you need to consider how to clean it so it does not have critical data on there.. Companies who lease out technology are likely to take it back when it is no longer needed and will securely wipe the data.
- Do you have the skills to support it internally? Technology needs to be supported to be at its working best. If a team or person responsible for the IT support in your business you will first need to check that they can support what you are about to purchase – this includes setup, ongoing maintenance and monitoring, and general support.
- Do you know how much it will cost to manage it externally? If you don’t have the skills internally, how much is someone else going to charge you to support it for you. Often support is included in a lease model which should be taken in to account as part of the over all costs.
- Can you afford to upgrade it? Technology is moving at a fast pace. Changes to government compliance and reporting, customers needing new features from existing products, the desire to make things run faster are all key reasons why it will never stop. These things mean that you will always need upgrades – upgrades to software, hardware and the services supporting it all.
- What else do you get with it? When you buy off the shelf you might just get the base product – no software to run it, and no support model to run it. Getting that machine working the way you want it will cost more. Many providers ensure that the device they lease you comes out of the box with everything you’ll need on it.
- How long can you afford to be without it if it stops working? IT failure is a sure as paying taxes, and when it hits you can really come unstuck. Purchasing IT equipment means your options are limited. Sign up to the right lease and a new device will be just a phone call away,
- How many do you need? This isn’t just a question for today – it is a question for the future: as your business grows and you hire more people, you will need to buy more equipment to support them. Can you afford to keep paying the capital expense each time you buy a new device?
Next week we will explore what you should take into account before signing that lease.
Unsure what is right for you? Get in touch and we will help you identify what is right for you