The coronavirus has completely changed how we do business. From the traditional centralized office setting, a lot of people have found themselves working remotely. Besides that, businesses have greatly been affected by many companies registering losses for the better part of 2020. This brings the need for IT managers to seek ways of reducing operational costs for their organizations.
According to John-David Lovelock, Gartner’s vice president of research, CIOs are seeking to optimize costs by minimizing investments and prioritizing operations that will keep the business afloat through this pandemic. The case is not any different for IT organizations and managers are looking for ways to optimize operational costs. Gartner projects that global IT spending will decline by 8% from 2019. IT managers are therefore faced with the challenge of helping their organizations sail through the COVID-19 storm keeping in mind that many business are experiencing an all-time low-income flow. The implication is that managers will have to find better ways to support IT infrastructure.
With an expected overall decline in business growth and a looming recession, IT departments will be grappling with limited finances as businesses struggle to remain relevant and profitable. In fact, a recent report by Gartner indicates that IT spending will remain low for a period of not less than three years. In this light, companies must redesign their IT infrastructure maintenance policies. If businesses will stay afloat and connected to standard infrastructure, third-party maintenance may no longer be an option but rather a necessity. Third-party maintenance can help you reduce overall IT expenditure by between 30% – 80%.
Why third-party maintenance?
It is widely accepted that OEM services are considered best for new hardware. However, there are limitations and challenges you will encounter as this hardware reaches its EOS and EOL (end of life/service) dates. These include high costs to continue maintenance of this hardware, OEM’s tactical intimidation to replace the existing hardware with the new ones, unavailability of critical parts, and low flexibility, not to forget their existing shortcomings on the multi-vendor technologies, where their capabilities to manage hardware from other vendors is highly limited.
On the contrary, top TPM’s have an exponential advantage in this regard. They have local spares and engineers with multi-vendor expertise and are more likely to be the most suitable partner when it comes to getting mission-critical spares for hardware replacements and multi-vendor support. Additionally, their contracts are also very flexible compared to OEMs.
When compared to the OEM’s the third-party service providers are relatively affordable despite the vast benefits they bring along. This is because they deal with a wide variety of IT equipment and services and therefore enjoy economies of scale. Further, third party maintenance services can help an organization avoid unnecessary maintenance costs since they can perform routine checks with advanced systems and determine the most appropriate action to boost the performance of your systems. On a general view, third-party maintenance services may offer better contract terms and customized SLA when compared to original equipment manufacturers.
OEM maintenance services are best suited for newly installed systems when the hardware is likely to be unstable. With the ongoing fixing of bugs in the initial years after the deployment of these systems, they are stable and the companies can switch to the TPM’s to maintain their hardware. This helps companies to continue using their existing hardware with occasional repairs and replacements facilitated by the TPM. At this stage, OEM contracts can be merged and transformed into one TPM contract covering all hardware infrastructure owned by the business. TPM can not just give you the insurance and peace of mind you need for your IT infrastructure but also help you achieve between 30% to 80% in maintenance cost reduction.
Also, unlike OEM who have deep knowledge and expertise in maintaining products from a single brand, top TPM companies have certified engineers with multi-vendor expertise to help you with your mission-critical multivendor equipment. This means a certain OEM server and another OEM provider for your network, a TPM engineers can deal with both these platforms effectively with a single contract. Hence, improving the accountability for these multi-vendor systems.
One contract covers all
As mentioned above, OEM maintenance services are a suitable option when you have newly installed hardware on your premises. It would take anywhere between one and two years for new hardware to get stable. After this period, you can continue using the hardware until there is a genuine requirement for hardware change either occasioned by operational requirements or scaled business needs. The cost of the change can also be reduced drastically by using TPM services.
Why would any business want to replace equipment that is stable and working? Third-party maintenance services enable you to defy EOL and EOSL dates to almost indefinitely. Their customized SLA and multi-vendor expertise can help companies by providing insurance for their IT infrastructure sufficiently under a single affordable contract. This further improves the efficiency and performance of the entire operation.
Other advantages achieved while using third party maintenance to reduce cost include:
- Single point of contact for all support needs.
- Excellent and prioritized local support.
- Increased performance.
- Eliminates chances of finger-pointing between different service providers: By contracting a single strong TPM to service your IT infrastructure, you eliminate the chances of the service provider to blame the other provider for faults occurring in the system. Take for example a situation where you are running an X brand server, E brand storage, and C brand network infrastructure, a single TPM would take ownership of the whole system eliminating the need for three different service contracts that could lead to uncoordinated management of the system.
- Local spare part availability: Big reliable TPM companies usually have local engineers working with locally buffered stock planned for each implementation. This is unlike some service providers where, at times, spare parts for a critical infrastructure might not be readily available within your locality. For instance, spares of a specific brand may have to be sourced from a TPM from a distant location thus requiring additional time and premium prices before a system is fixed.
- Customized support contracts: With a TPM, you can choose which hardware and what kind of support coverage you would like to take. This can help companies save a huge chunk in OPEX costs and they can utilize those funds to expand and grow the business.
The role of IT department management has never been as clear as it is now in the COVID-19 era. IT managers who will successfully propel their organization past the pandemic while maintaining reasonable cost through outsourcing IT infrastructure maintenance to third party firms will remain heroes in the industry.
Among other notable advantages of TPM services, the flexibility and ability to deal with multi-vendor systems cannot be overlooked. Rare are organizations running a single vendor infrastructure. This is mostly because each of the vendor systems brings different advantages to the performance and efficiency of the whole system.
Eventually, you will be dealing with various service providers for the maintenance of your IT infrastructure. However, there is a better way to go. Reliable big TPM’s can be a strategic bridge here by covering all these critical hardware under a single contract regardless of equipment vendors.
Furthermore, big TPM companies have huge recycling operations which creates an unending supply of spare parts. These are tested and exposed to real working environments and are always ready to be deployed. It is not surprising that some of the spares are more stable compared to some new sets.
Since they work on multiple brands as a norm, TPM’s are more likely to have expert multi-vendor local engineers and locally available spare parts than OEMs. This may, in turn, reduce the response time and significantly increase service quality. Additionally, not to forget TPM services are highly customizable and affordable and can thus help companies reduce costs.
The mantra is why change when it’s working for you!