Looking for ways to cut your Cisco network hardware costs? I don’t blame you. Network hardware can take a big bite out of your IT hardware budget—and it’s not like you can simply decide to forego networking gear entirely this year as a cost saving measure. So, what can a budget-conscious network professional do to cut network hardware costs? I’m glad you asked. Today we’re going to look at four key strategies you can use to significantly reduce your network hardware costs.
Strategy #1: Extend the useful life of your existing network hardware. How much money could you save if you used your current network hardware for another year, only replacing failed components as needed? How much time could your team save by maintaining what you have rather than adding another switch or router to your current technology stack? How much downtime would you save by putting your upgrade off for another year or two or three? Could your team’s time be better spent elsewhere? See if you can’t simply put the upgrade off for a year, bank the savings, and wait it out.
Strategy #2: Refuse to purchase network hardware based on anything other than actual hardware lifecycles. If I had to wager a guess, I would guess that you are probably upgrading your network every three years or so as recommended by your original equipment manufacturer (OEM). And why wouldn’t you be? The OEM only has your best interests in mind, right? Quite frankly, the unwritten rule of updating every three years is way better for the OEM than it is for you. In doing so, you’re upgrading before you need to and, quite simply, that means you’re spending a lot of money before it is necessary. Networking hardware isn’t changing as rapidly today as it did fifteen years ago, making the standard three year upgrade schedule obsolete. You’d be better off evaluating your own needs and upgrading your network only when it benefits your organization.( Need help determining whether your networking hardware is obsolete or not? Check out this article.)
Strategy #3: Standardize and consolidate your networking equipment. It costs more—in time and money—to operate disconnected systems and multiple iterations of hardware. Standardizing your networking by using fewer hardware and software platforms reduces the workload for your system managers and help desk staff. The more consolidated and manageable your IT environment is, the less likely you are to experience outages. With consolidated systems, the network outages you do experience are likely to be less severe as well.
Strategy #4: Consider alternatives to OEM network maintenance programs. OEM maintenance and service agreements can shred your budget if you aren’t careful. Consider a reputable third party maintenance program instead of the program offered by the OEM and you are likely to lower your maintenance costs significantly without sacrificing network performance and reliability. You might also want to consider consolidating multiple maintenance contracts into one agreement to increase savings based on a higher volume of business.
To learn more about how to lower your networking hardware costs, call 888-210-7636 or contact one of our IT Hardware Specialists today for a free consultation.