I recently learned the hard way there are certain items and services you should never scrimp on. In an effort to squeeze the most enjoyment out of summer I decided to purchase a low-end hardtail mountain bike. The term “hardtail” means there is no rear suspension, which is fine for most mountain biking endeavors aside from treacherous downhill excursions. However, like most equipment, not all mountain bikes share the same features and quality. Not knowing what I should be looking for I regretfully based my purchase on price and ended up paying more in lost time and medical bills. While tending to my abrasions and bruised ego I began to reflect on how I’ve seen this same scenario playout many times as companies try to pinch pennies on Information Technology.
Most people are not experts when it comes to Information Technology in business and how best to evaluate the products or services required. How do you know you are getting what you pay for and how do you evaluate the services performed if you are not versed in Information Technology? Whether you are looking for a new backup appliance, security product or a simple desktop to standardize across a department you will find a plethora of conflicting information attempting to steer your decision. Basing that decision solely on price will ultimately cost more money over time. While it might seem more expensive to invest in higher-end systems or collaborate with an IT Service Provider, you have to evaluate all of the costs involved in the decision. Downtime, user efficiency and lost opportunities are all considerations warranting detailed analysis. You might save money upfront on a new computer purchase only to find out later you need to spend nearly the same amount to upgrade the computer’s components to run a new version of your companies’ software being released just months later.
The value of purchasing hardware and software solutions tuned to your exact business needs will ultimately be reflected in the productivity gains and uptime of your business. Additionally, customers and potential job candidates are more prone to selecting business’ that invest in the latest technology. Consult with your internal or outsourced IT team when deciding upon solutions to avoid a negative return on investment. Failure to do so may result in lost revenue and opportunities as your business recovers from an outage stemming from lower-end solutions or poor support.
Buying cheap might seem like a good idea at first but with technology becoming ever more critical to business success we need to treat it as a valuable asset and not just another utility. I can personally attest both personally and professionally to the important of doing your homework and basing purchasing decisions on quality not price.