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All I want for Christmas is not to worry about my IT hardware

The holidays can be an interesting time of year with our personal and professional lives sometimes colliding. For the majority of those looking forward to the season’s festivities, it means time with family, good cheer with friends, and perhaps reflecting on the past year’s events and the obvious spiritual connections. Then, or course, there’s the flip side of the coin: it’s a time when the limited number of people in the office strikes terror in the hearts of IT professionals—there’s always the possibility of equipment failure.

After all, just because people are away for a few days doesn’t mean business stops. However, in the case of hardware failures, who picks of the proverbial slack? Even if there is a skeleton crew in the building while others are drinking eggnog with their families, it doesn’t mean the crew has the ability to triage and fix a smoking piece of hardware in a rack at the back of the server room.

Conversely, with everyone on a simultaneous worldwide vacation, who on the outside is even there to make a maintenance call—someone who can swoop in and save the day? A tough situation when the phone systems of many maintenance businesses have a holiday greeting and a “see you in the New Year” message for those calling for help.

So, what’s the best solution? In this case, it really comes down to the old adage of the “one throat to choke” mantra: finding a company that handles IT support and maintenance 24/7/365 even during the most festive of seasons. Perhaps doing so in complete disregard of its own team members (anyone at Inteleca reading this … yeah, this pertains to you).

But all jokes aside, business never stops nor does IT infrastructure. It doesn’t matter how many people are away consuming too much ham and fruitcake—no one wants to return to work after the holidays to a smoking crater of a problem because no one was around to mitigate the risk in the first place.

That’s why the right vendor is so important. But it’s also far more than mitigating risk during business vacation times. IT maintenance and support has far-reaching benefits throughout the whole year.

For instance, did you know that the right IT maintenance provider can save you as much as 50 to 90 percent on your maintenance costs? That’s a lot of spiked eggnog budget at the end of the year. And as it pertains to that 50 to 90 percent—it’s surprisingly easy to calculate.

Think of it this way. Firstly, start by saving money through hours spent. Instead of having your team slog away swapping hardware, doing upgrades, and so on, leave it to your provider. I can guarantee the dollar value in time and energy is far less than taking team members away from more important tasks.

And then there’s the OEM side of the equation. If you’ve ever read the terms and conditions surrounding OEM maintenance and the associated costs—let me just say it will greatly diminish your holiday cheer. The amount that OEMs charge for ongoing maintenance is borderline criminal, all because it’s better for them if you buy new rather than maintain something just a few years old.

Oh, and let’s not forget the money taken out of the IT hardware budget for maintenance and instead spending it on things that actually make money. It’s a great feeling to apply savings to new initiatives that lead to better processes, faster go-to-market strategies, and more—all from saving dollars from something that can be easily managed at far less cost.

I know for myself, all these factors are incredibly important and contribute to our own success. It’s also what I’ll be thinking about this holiday season on a cold winter’s morn, standing in my bathrobe smoking a cigar while drinking a beer and emptying a chemical toilet into my neighbor’s storm drain … because you know … something was full.  😉

Happy holidays everyone! And have a fantastic New Year!