When IT procurement professionals are proactively seeking cost containment and vendor reduction in their 2020 objectives, one of the strategies should include a focus on hardware (data center and/or networking) operational expense, and the proven value propositions of the independent hardware support marketplace. Many of us in this independent support industry, as well as Gartner analysts, have found that standardized RFPs too often include components/questions that don’t apply. Yet, almost all RFPs for hardware maintenance are severely lacking the core elements that would help balance cost reductions with minimized risk. In fact, these RFPs are often two-dimensional and enable misrepresentation and sub-par service. Help us, help you! This three-part blog is designed to educate, while drawing greater attention to internal best practices, critical RFP elements, asset prioritization and a reduced cost without sacrifice to necessary service.
In IT, if you're not aware of the latest trends, then you're bound to be left behind. Whether it's keeping up with the chatter on Reddit, or doing your own research, third party maintenance providers are one of the fastest growing sectors. As organizations are looking for new ways to efficiently maintain their complex IT infrastructure, third party maintenance is quickly becoming the wave of the future. With extensive service loopholes to jump through, organizations are growing tired of waiting for immediate and expert IT support for their IT assets. It is no wonder that Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) are losing ground to innovative third party maintenance providers who are able to provide exceptional customer service at affordable rates. Companies that were losing tons of time waiting for service from their OEMs are now riding the new wave and achieving significantly better resolution times, without sacrificing coverage by partnering with companies like XSi. And, organizations are able to reclaim control over how their IT assets are managed and streamline maintenance to be done faster, without adding extra tasks. It is estimated that by 2020, most organizations will be using some form of 3rd party IT maintenance arrangements.
In the not so far distant past the world was roaring, and “rolling in the dough” so to speak; and third party IT maintenance was not very high up on the food chain. But lately, there hasn’t been as much “dough rolling,” and many organizations are turning to 3rd party IT maintenance to accommodate severe budget constraints and reductions in capital expenditures. Companies have been forced to retain equipment for longer periods of time, and organizations are doing more with less. What they are finding out is with third-party IT maintenance they can actually limit their service expenditures without compromising uptime or performance.
While 2012 was nothing short of a technology miracle, 2013 promises to be even better. A few months back we posted an article on the extraordinary job Cisco did at the Olympics this summer as the official network provider. In fact, more than 4.8 billion people watched the event, with digital viewers outnumbering traditional television viewers for the first time in history, clearly showing how technology dependent we have all become. Undoubtedly, the impressive technology trend will continue in 2013.
Private industry has had decades of experience surviving downturns and bankruptcies while still maintaining a healthy IT environment. Government agencies, particularly DOD, and DHS are unaccustomed to real cost cutting, and may need some help learning how to get by with less, perhaps a LOT less.