Many businesses perceive IT hardware as a burden. The cost, management, and repairs necessary to maintain the technology can be frustrating, which is why so many organizations rely upon a managed service provider (MSP) to handle this aspect of their IT environment. If your business outsources its hardware needs to an MSP, you’ve probably wondered why there’s such an emphasis on the type of hardware you use.

A valuable IT outsourcing provider will likely require that your company has a specific standard of hardware in place to ensure your service experience and business operations remain unaffected by inadequate technology. The following sections outline the impact hardware can have on the MSP’s service delivery and your business as a whole.

“There’s significant value in keeping a business’s hardware up-to-date. Technology is a major factor in the success of any organization and new technology can help a company stay ahead of the curve while adhering to the compliance and security protocols specific to its industry.” –Nicholas Gikonyo (Former Vice President, Managed Services at Aldridge)

How does IT hardware impact an IT provider’s service?

A mature managed IT services provider will likely require that your business’s hardware be aligned to a set of standards specified in its service level agreement (SLA). If your business insists upon operating with an outdated or varied hardware stack, you will likely receive delayed and/or inconsistent services from your IT outsourcing provider as a result.

Consider the process that takes place when an end-user calls the managed IT services provider about a problem. If the user is operating from an out-of-date workstation, it’s likely to take the MSP two to three times longer to resolve the issue as they will be forced to wait for pages to load or connections to resume throughout the process. Delays resulting from slow, antiquated technology will cause frustration for both parties and result in more downtime for your business.

The quality of services delivered by the MSP can also be affected by a lack of uniform IT hardware. If your business uses a wide variety of hardware, the managed IT services provider will be required to staff resources proficient in each version of equipment you use to effectively support your IT environment, thus increasing the complexity and cost of services overall. The standardization of your organization’s hardware will allow the MSP to standardize its own processes and provide more consistent and cost-effective solutions to your business.

How can up-to-date IT hardware enhance security and reliability? 

All IT hardware has an end of life (EOL) date that determines when the manufacturer will cease supporting the technology in question. If your business is using equipment that has reached its EOL, your network security and stability may be at risk. Outdated technology will exclude your business from receiving the patches, bug fixes, hardware repair/replacement, and customer service support available prior to the EOL expiration.

Manufacturer support is essential to protecting your systems from harmful network invasions, and the use of outdated equipment can result in a network compromise or data breach that can affect both your bottom line and your reputation. Your business is likely responsible for meeting compliance standards and protecting sensitive files for both clients and employees. Outdated hardware may fail to safeguard this data as it generally lacks the security measures necessary to safeguard against modern network threats and hacking techniques.

In addition, the use of old IT hardware increases the chance of technology failures. A network is a web of interconnected parts that depend on one another to operate successfully. When one piece fails, the entire system is at risk.

A proactive approach to keeping your technology up-to-date will prevent your business from suffering the inconveniences that accompany unexpected downtime and may reduce equipment costs in the long run. A valuable MSP must work with your business to create an IT strategy that ensures your technology remains compliant and capable of supporting your business.

How can  IT hardware affect your business’s profit?

Old equipment may still work, but it may also be working against your business. Out-of-date IT hardware can result in decreased productivity that will put your business at a disadvantage to those organizations using more advanced, efficient technology.

Employees that are working from antiquated workstations will likely experience daily downtime that can cost your business money and opportunities. Regular technology upgrades help enable growth and innovation within your organization by making it easier and less stressful for employees to do their jobs. Essentially, IT upgrades should be viewed not as an expense, but as an investment into the future of your business.

At Aldridge, our goal is to position technology to enable your business. Our team is capable of designing an IT strategy that suits your needs and reduces long-term technology costs. Our IT outsourcing and managed services can help your organization manage its hardware needs.