The beginning of the year is always busy as businesses put together new fiscal year plans and budgets. One item to keep in mind as you prepare for your new plans and budgets is hardware maintenance. It's an issue that isn't always top of mind until something goes wrong, but it's better to be prepared than to be caught blindsided when a problem rears its head.
To make sure you cover all of your bases, consider drawing up a hardware maintenance checklist that details everything you'll need cover the course of 2018. That way, you can be rest assured you have what you need to protect your data center equipment against failure.
Hardware maintenance should be a priority for your IT plans
Determining where to allocate your IT funds is often a painstaking process, and inevitably certain items are going to get cut or devalued along the way. This becomes problematic when organizations have to work on tighter IT budgets or – even worse – don't prioritize the right investments. Your new budgets may promise higher IT spending overall, but there remains some doubt whether executives truly appreciate and understand where that money is going.
"IT stakeholders need to vouch for the importance of hardware maintenance."
What to include on your hardware maintenance checklist
When reviewing your options for a hardware maintenance partner in the coming year, there are several key features to consider to ensure you receive the right coverage and services at the right price point:
One of the most common obstacles businesses run into with hardware maintenance is managing the various service contracts in effect for all of their data center and IT equipment. The time and labor required to parse through each one and determine precisely what is covered by different original equipment manufacturers is one of the more costly, unseen expenses related to IT operations. To remove such headaches, work with a hardware maintenance provider that offers single-vendor contracts across a wide range of vendor brands, including IBM, SUN/Oracle and EMC. The right partner will be able to support both legacy hardware and future equipment purchases down the road.
No two businesses are the same, so why settle for a rigid, one-size-fits-all, service-level agreement? Hardware maintenance SLAs should spell out specific terms that make sense for each organization, taking into account both variations in price point and uptime guarantees. There's no reason to get locked into SLAs that package in unnecessary, expensive features and ultimately fail to meet your needs. If a hardware maintenance vendor is unwilling to budge on the terms of their pre-built SLA, consider going elsewhere for service.
Responsive Support System
In a perfect world, businesses would never need to call upon their hardware maintenance partners in a crisis. But equipment problems will spring up, and when they do, your service provider should be readily available to lend support. A fast and responsive help desk is the hallmark of a truly dependable hardware maintenance vendor, capable of offering expert advice and assistance at a moment's notice.
Another aspect to consider is where that help desk team is located. Offshore support staff may not be able to meet the level of responsiveness needed to quickly address problems as they arise, especially if on-site assistance is required. Under these circumstances, a U.S.-based support system is ideal.
Having a comprehensive checklist handy can help your organization ensure it gets everything it needs from a hardware maintenance provider in 2018. For more information on equipment maintenance and what to look for in an ideal maintenance contract, contact Pyramid today.