Whether by time or use, all organizations eventually face a difficult scenario: replacing technology — more specifically, enterprise hardware. It’s normal for hardware to eventually wear down from use, but other situations also factor in. Rugged devices (while rugged) can be damaged in the field or even get lost or stolen. Manufacturers may eventually decide to stop supporting certain hardware SKUs due to sales performance or other business reasons.
Whatever the circumstances, your organization will eventually need to replace technology. It’s important to understand, however, that replacing hardware has far greater implications and impact than the replacement itself — before, during, and after the transition. To help you prepare for this and make the best decisions possible, we’ve prepared a list of six things to consider when replacing technology. Let’s dig in.
1. How will new hardware be obtained?
Initially, businesses might consider purchasing new hardware. It makes sense — the hardware would be owned fully by the company with no strings attached. However, purchasing hardware — particularly in an enterprise where uniformity, cost efficiencies, and other details matter — is often an extremely costly endeavor that requires a significant cash outlay. No matter the size of your organization, a capital investment of this magnitude can tie up valuable resources.
There are a few noteworthy challenges with this. First, it will take time to start demonstrating a return on the investment. More money spent upfront means more time needed to prove ROI. Second, all hardware depreciates. New equipment comes at a premium, and yet its value will decline over time. It may be difficult to sell or replace later. Third, new hardware will require support. Internal teams may not be familiar with it and will need training, which further ties up resources. Additionally, maintenance packages may add to your overall expense.
2. How will it impact your team?
Replacing technology is not just a concern for IT alone. This is because far more people will be using the hardware, so their needs, expectations, and workflows must be taken into consideration. Whether you intend to purchase your hardware or find another solution, either involve additional departments in the conversation or gather their feedback and requirements to help refine your search and decision-making. Open communication and teamwork on this front will ensure alignment around the approach taken and ultimately the hardware you obtain.
Also, consider your end-users when replacing technology. Whether your organization has a field service team or the hardware will only be used in corporate and satellite locations, gathering feedback, understanding workflow and usage patterns, and learning other ways hardware is important to end-users will help streamline your search. More importantly, it will ensure your end-users are able to more quickly adopt the new hardware, which in turn helps to prove out ROI faster, maintain productivity levels, and even improve internal satisfaction from your team.
3. Which devices will you choose?
While the acquisition method and end-user consideration are both important to consider in replacing technology, it’s just as critical to understand which devices will make the most significant impact for your organization. For example, if your organization has a remote or distributed workforce, more rugged devices will obviously be needed. If you’re looking into a mobility solution, which device and OS will best support your team and application needs?
At this point, it will be necessary to start a conversation with a reliable, proven hardware service provider. You may have a particular device in mind or may simply want the newest version of an existing hardware line. However, there may be a more advanced, efficient, or cost-effective hardware solution available that you may not have considered. At River Capital, for example, we build hardware solutions that don’t just meet needs and goals but also make the entire process more efficient, affordable, and reliable.
4. Who will you partner with?
Tied closely to your decision on whether to buy or obtain new hardware via another solution is deciding which service provider to partner with. If you purchase hardware, your equipment may or may not come with a support and maintenance package. It may be included, billed hourly as needed, or be entirely unavailable depending on the organization. You’ll also want to fully understand the rollout strategy. Will there be a configuration process so your devices are ready once they arrive? Will training be available? How will the partner support your organization in communicating the new hardware?
One of the best solutions available today is a XaaS solution for hardware called Hardware-as-a-Service, or HaaS. Similar to SaaS, in which organizations pay a monthly fee for access to and use of a software solution (rather than a costly upfront purchase), HaaS allows organizations to get the hardware they need without a significant cash outlay. Everything is bundled in one convenient package — hardware, support, maintenance, and even analytics that give you an understanding of how users are engaging with devices, what repairs or service tickets are open, and more.
5. What will deployment look like?
Once you’ve made a decision on how your hardware will be obtained, what devices will be used, and who you’re working with, it’s time to plan your deployment. Depending on your organization’s needs and size, deployment must be carefully planned. You cannot go about replacing technology without considering things like rollout communications, training, ramp-up times, early issues or support needs, and of course, getting the hardware into your users’ hands throughout your footprint.
Carefully plan your rollout strategy, and rely on your hardware partner to support you and provide expert recommendations. At River Capital, our hardware contracts come with strategic support designed to make your new enterprise hardware solution as streamlined and successful as possible. With decades of experience, our team will understand how to best support your rollout throughout your organization so teams can make immediate use of their new equipment and you can prove its ROI faster than ever.
6. What will you do with old equipment?
A final consideration in replacing technology is understanding what to do with old hardware. Whether it’s your existing hardware that is to be replaced or your new hardware down the line, work with your partner to understand your options.
For example, with HaaS from River Capital, you don’t need to worry about obtaining new hardware after a few years. We’ll be in touch with you once your existing contract is about to expire to discuss your options, including replacing your existing hardware with newer equipment. This ensures your organization is able to maintain and, if new innovations are available, even improve your productivity and hardware ROI.
Get More Done for Less with HaaS
When you’re ready to start replacing technology and hardware in your organization, HaaS from River Capital puts the best equipment and devices to work for your business at a more appealing monthly price. Save your capital for more important strategic investments while enjoying up-to-date devices and equipment that keep your organization moving forward. Contact us today to learn more about HaaS and how we can support your hardware needs.