The Case for Make Do and Mend
The past year has undoubtedly been an uncertain time for all us. But how has this uncertainty impacted the market? I talk to different IT vendors every day and I would say the answer to that question varies significantly. For example, many server and storage vendors are seeing Data Centre Enterprise IT projects stall while organisations are re-addressing their priorities. Either that, or, they are being cancelled altogether. So, for some it has become a case of “Make do” with what you’ve got.
If you talk to the network vendors wireless is still booming, as it has been for a while. If you talk to end user device guys, there is still high demand. While the 3rd party maintainers are busy sweeping up the opportunities that have arisen from tighter budgets.
And what about our customers, how have they been affected?
Many customers I talk to are thinking very carefully about the year ahead. The world is such a different place now. Many Travel, Public sector, Blue Light and Government organisations we work with here at CANCOM have no real idea what next year will look like. And that’s a challenging issue, how to spend your budget, or plan your next budget, when you don’t even know the end game.
One common theme I am seeing, is that organisations are looking closely at what they have got already and what is the minimum they need to do to maintain this.
So, for many, now is the time to make do and mend, to look after what you have and build on this as we move forward. When I discuss sweating assets with product teams, they normally get nervous and think my message is “don’t buy anything new”.
But that’s not what I’m saying, I’m saying it makes sense to look after what you have while you decide or clarify your next moves. Don’t quote me, but I believe around only 1% of laptops are ever fixed. And that’s simply because the economics of repairing versus buying new rarely stack up. However, with IT budget uncertainty and supply chain issues, this has now changed.
Managed IT Support for End User Devices - Customer Story
To illustrate this point, I wanted to share a customer challenge and how we helped resolve it.
Earlier this year, the customer in question was facing, like many of us, the issue of redeploying all their staff to work from home. They were also trying to phase in an upgrade plan for 500 new devices. Once lockdown happened it was clear this upgrade wasn’t going to happen. This didn’t get away from the problem of how they were going to be able to support 500 odd users remotely. To buy new kit would have cost approximately 150K of upfront CAPEX budget and even if the customer had budget sign off, supply chain issues meant there was no guarantee when exactly the new devices would arrive. Additionally, their IT team simply didn’t have the bandwidth to configure 100s of new devices with other demands placed on them by the Coronavirus.
So, our solution was to build a contract for on-site remote support for all devices, covering employees working from home, or in the office. At £8K, this annual break-fix support contract was a pretty attractive alternative. With this in place they parked their £150K investment decision and for as little as £17 per user made sure all devices were fully supported for the year ahead.
Suddenly, I think you’ll agree, the case for sweating your assets, or taking more of a make-do-and-mend approach is compelling.
Admittedly, fixing laptops and devices might not be the cutting-edge strategy you had in mind for 2021, but for many, I believe it’s a pretty sensible option.
When considering break-fix, I think it’s important to weigh up the options: will your IT budgets be cut? What are your other pressing IT priorities? And for me, possibly the most pertinent question you can ask yourself is: what would be the material cost to your business, if employees couldn’t work via their laptops for several days?
Whether your employees are still working from home or have returned to the office CANCOM’s break-fix solution offers a next business day fix or replace service (with all social distancing precautions in place). Break-fix contracts are available for a flexible period, whether that’s ad hoc, 6 months, a year or longer**
**Subject to hardware review