Many small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face unique challenges when it comes to technology. Although most of these companies could benefit from purchasing updated hardware and equipment, it is not always financially feasible or advisable.
The Pros and Cons of Buying:
The biggest advantage of buying your computers and servers outright is that you can buy what you want and use it any way you want. However, the disadvantages of ownership often outweigh the pros.
One of the biggest disadvantages is the up-front cost. Most SMBs do not have the capital available to purchase the latest models of computers and servers. Another major disadvantage of investing in expensive equipment is that technology is always evolving and once you make a significant financial investment in new equipment; odds are that you won’t be able to afford upgrading again for an indeterminate amount of time. You will then fall behind the technology curve – decreasing your productivity and lessening your ability to compete.
The Pros and Cons of Leasing:
Leasing is a popular option since it allows SMBs to take advantage of the latest technology for an affordable monthly (read: fixed) price.
The biggest disadvantage to leasing is that many SMBs are not equipped to maximize technological potential without employing a skilled IT professional. Without the guidance and support offered by an IT provider, there are missed opportunities to get more out of your tech equipment. While it is often a more cost-effective option than buying, you aren’t getting the most from your technology. Also, you are generally stuck with the fixed leasing term, causing the same “out of date” issues as outlined in buying above.
The Pros and Cons of Renting:
More and more small businesses are opting to rent their computers and servers as a service from their IT provider.
Essentially, this option allows SMBs to maximize the business impact of their tech investments. Renting is a great way to keep current with constantly evolving IT innovations, while still controlling costs. Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) is now being offered by top IT firms. These providers are renting the equipment, such as servers, computers, and network gear. They also include a maintenance and support contract. When the technology changes, these IT providers will upgrade or swap out your systems with updated versions usually with no increase to the monthly fees, except perhaps a small annual increase.
Not only does this alleviate a lot of hardware headaches, it provides other advantages such as optimized network security and preventative care – all while allowing you to remain at the crest of technology.
The Bottom Line:
HaaS is the future of “purchasing” technological equipment for SMBs and is certainly the right choice for many more businesses than are currently utilizing this option. It saves businesses money, allows them to take advantage of the latest technology, and provides them with professional IT support and advanced network security.