Mine or yours? How the cloud is changing our perception of IT investment
There was a time when business owners enjoyed looking out across the office landscape and know that they owned everything that was in front of them. From the furniture and the machinery to the staff that had been working there for more than 30 years – all they could see was there to stay. This is no longer the way.
Just like staff remaining within the same company for decades is becoming increasingly rare, technological innovations like email and other cloud-based tools are forcing business owners to get used to the idea of sharing.
From investment to unnecessary expenditure
While IT used to be seen as an investment, the rate at which new systems are introduced to the market today makes it more of a burden, having to constantly update hardware and stay on top of the latest versions of various software.
At Network Overdrive we are witnessing a trend in businesses asking us to provide monthly rental solutions for their IT investments. And from a financial point of view, this makes sense.
Five reasons why renting could work for you
1. No huge up-front fee
Whereas IT used to be a massive out-of-pocket investment that took years to get a return on, it can now be budgeted as a monthly expenditure. This makes a big difference for businesses that need good cash flow.
2. Know the true cost
If you’ve ever experienced IT breakdowns you know how stressful and costly they can be. With the right financial advice and guidance, a business owner could still make a $20,000 IT system into an investment. But as finance companies generally don’t handle software, any maintenance, repair or service will have to be dealt with separately.
By using a month-to-month rental solution you will be able to make a solid IT budget that’s not affected by unplanned events like server crashes or urgent program updates.
3. Simplify your books
Depending on your business model, it might be desirable for you not to have expensive hardware that has to be depreciated on the books. Instead, your IT can be treated like an ongoing business cost. This will also make your accountant’s job easier.
4. Save yourself the trip to the tip
The average life span of a business computer is 3-5 years. The fast turnover of IT equipment is making discarding of old hardware as much of a headache as purchasing it.
While downloading software has made CDs obsolete, there is still plenty of equipment that needs to be taken care of once it’s no longer used. To our clients, having their out-dated hardware taken care of and replaced without having to lift a finger is one of the most valuable aspects of our services.
5. Let your IT grow with your business
Hiring new staff? With a hardware as a service solution you can have a complete workstation installed and ready to use in a couple of hours by simply adding a small sum to your monthly fee.
To have flexible IT solutions that can change to fit your business’ current needs also makes it easier for business owners to make decisions about when and how they can afford to expand.
Figure out the best solution for your business
As with all business decisions, there is no one-fits-all solution. As a business owner you should always be ready to sit down and consider questions like, ‘What do I need from my IT solutions?’, ‘What am I willing to spend?’, ‘Am I likely to require frequent updates to my systems?’ etc.
A month-to-month solution does not fit all business types and some of our clients have chosen not to use it. For example, it often doesn’t work for our not-for-profit or government clients that have their IT solutions financed by grants set aside specifically for this purpose. But for most businesses it does make sense to make the switch away from the ownership way of thinking.
Then again, some business owners will always enjoy looking out over the office, knowing that every screen and cable is theirs to keep. All the way to the tip.