It happens to the best of us, or at least some of our area’s strongest businesses: No matter how thorough your IT budget looks on paper, some years just come with unexpected IT costs.
And they can be a real doozy. For example, a business might anticipate an eventual operating system upgrade, but forget to account for the fact that it might coincide with their hardware’s “expiration dates.”
To add insult to budget-injury, much of their mission-critical software will also need to be upgraded to run on both the new OS and the new hardware. Ouch!
Even if this particular scenario doesn’t relate to you, unexpected IT costs can send your budget into a tailspin. Or, you can check out these helpful strategies for managing the unimaginable and handle them like the boss that you are.
Here are some smart ways to handle unexpected IT costs
When you have to address unforeseen tech expenses, consider the following tips to control the flow:
- 1) Consider a leasing option.
There are some real benefits to leasing new hardware. The monthly payments are generally low and spaced out, rather than hitting all at once as with a hardware purchase.
They may also include service agreements and the option to purchase the equipment later on. Leases also potentially qualify for tax credits. Varay works with a leasing company that can help you and your comptroller weigh your options and decide whether a capital or operating lease is best for your business needs.
- 2) Get a clear answer about which pieces of hardware can give you a few more years.
If your computers and other hardware were recently refreshed, you may be able to minimize your IT expenses with upgrades, rather than replacements.
A trustworthy IT vendor can tell you which pieces will serve you for a few more years. As a rule of thumb, most IT experts recommend refreshing hardware every five years for maximum security and performance.
- 3) See if you can get a discount on a large order.
There’s always a silver lining: Major upgrades and refreshes may qualify you for a large order discount! Most manufacturers are happy to negotiate special pricing for orders over $10K.
Even if you’re not looking to hit that $10K mark, it’s a budget-savvy move to choose an IT vendor that has partnerships with major tech companies, as they can snag better deals than you’ll find on your own.
- 4) Don’t try to piece together your upgrade.
Black Friday is coming up, and it may be tempting to take advantage of those killer deals to cut some corners on your unexpected IT expenses.
Word to the wise: Business hardware and software is different from what you’ll find on Black Friday sales, and you could actually cost yourself more this way! Read more about how that works here.
- 5) Ask your IT vendor to help you make a plan before you upgrade
One of the best ways to avoid IT budget surprises is to work with a reputable IT vendor who will maintain an inventory of all of your software and hardware. Your vendor needs to be proactive enough to assess which mission-critical applications will run on a new operating system, and which pieces of hardware are nearing the end of their usefulness.
With this information, your vendor is an incredible, money-saving resource. They can create a plan to keep your business at peak performance without major IT cost surprises.
If you’re already a client of Varay Managed IT, we already have access to your current hardware and software details to make your major transitions more predictable and simple.
Take the stress out of your upgrade
Varay is here to help you map out a plan to avoid unexpected IT costs in the future. Click here to schedule a chat with Varay so we can help you develop a plan that will minimize future budget surprises.