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While it’s easy (and understandable) to find yourself choosing the IT vendor who offers the lowest price on hardware and software, this could lead to serious problems later on. All vendors are not created the same, and when you pick and choose different vendors for different products based entirely on price, you’re taking a risk when it comes to both the quality of the product and your ability to utilize it successfully.

One important rule to remember about IT infrastructure is that all vendors are not created the same. In order to give your business the advantage it needs to succeed and grow, you’ll want to take a look at a few of these best practices when it comes to the purchase of IT hardware and be sure to implement them within your company.

Pick a Vendor, Establish a Relationship

When you mix different hardware vendors, it is possible that your organization may not get the results that it had hoped for. When purchasing from multiple vendors, you must learn all the different products, terminologies, and troubleshooting tactics associated with each and every single brand. This leads to inefficiencies and misunderstandings within your organization.

When you shrink the amount of knowledge that your IT staff must know in order to do their jobs, you keep your organization running in a predictable and efficient manner. For instance, if you have 100 end users all operating the exact same desktop PCs, it’s easy to simply reprovision a new PC should one crash. You’ll know exactly what software is needed to get your employee back on the job, and the associated drivers and OS will already be prepackaged and ready to go.

Once you commit to a single standard base model of PC, your IT team will be able to swap out parts from defective machines quickly and easily, saving you serious money on replacements. By establishing a single vendor, you’ll ensure you no longer need to worry about whether or not attempting repairs with what you have could lead to problematic results.

Establish a Technology Baseline

Staying consistent by establishing a technology baseline in your organization will allow your technology team to rapidly provision IT equipment to your end users. Typically, businesses will refresh their desktop computing hardware every 3-5 years. Due to IT accounting principles, after 3 years, a desktop PC’s full value can be written off as it is now considered obsolete.

When your business establishes a technology baseline, you’ll be able to more effectively appropriate hardware where it is needed most. Since you’ll likely be working with a single vendor, you’ll be privy to exclusive deals and specials that are only accessible to you through your dedicated IT procurement representative.

Try Before You Buy

While we do suggest it if at all possible, not every vendor will give you a free trial. If you’re buying desktop PC hardware, it may be better to simply buy a specific model of a PC based on consumer reviews and ask your for end users for their feedback. If you’re buying hardware or software for your onsite data center, there is a good chance that you will be offered some sort of free trial when you begin implementing enterprise-wide services into your environment.

When you begin working with a dedicated sales representative associated with a specific hardware of software vendor, it never hurts to ask if you will be able to access a free trial. Most likely, your sales representative will be interested in doing whatever it takes to earn your repeat business.

Plan for the Future

When building an IT infrastructure, it is deeply important to plan for the possbility of growth or changes in the hardware and software you might need to use in the future. When evaluating different vendors, pay special attention to vendors that are startup companies. Startups often provide unique services, and when successful, may be purchased by larger companies. If they aren’t successful, on the other hand, they tend to fade out altogether.

When you slect a company like HP, Lenovo, or Dell to be your exclusive hardware provider, you know that your business will receive equipment that is both widely supported, with pros, cons, and troubleshooting suggestions already documented on the internet. When you go with an unknown entity, your IT department runs the risk of finding itself left out in the cold if the startup vendor fails.

Find a vendor that suits your enterprise’s needs at a cost that you can justify. Stick with that vendor and try to develop a relationship with the sales representatives. This relationship will be instrumental in crafting a roadmap concerning the technology that your organization will implement in the forseeable future.

If you’re looking for an IT support provider that can help you choose the right hardware and software for your business, take a look at BACS. We provide everything from network security to data backup and disaster recovery, as well as the old standbys of computer repair and network management. With a managed IT approach that allows us to be there even before a problem arises, we’re the right choice for you. Click the banner below to schedule your IT assessment, or learn more by contacting us at (650) 887-4601 or online today.

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Published on 13th January 2016 by James Berger.