A Stick of RAM?

August 8, 2008

I have previously written how I reduced our IT expenses by reducing ad hoc IT expenditures and improving our internal IT and financial purchasing controls.

I also reduce longer term costs by strategically planning any technology hardware purchases to minimize costs over that technology assets full life cycle.

After I started with my current employer, for several months I had sales folks visit me from small technology reselling shops that had been familiar with selling my predecessor the little bits and pieces to “upgrade” PC’s, servers, laptops etc.

The little things like boosting the amount of RAM memory, a bigger hard drive, a faster DVD drive.

Costs Add Up

While the individual cost for those little pieces is usually small;

– Let’s add up the aggregate cost of doing this for 20, or 100 machines over their lifetime

– Plus lets add the cost of my time to take that server or PC “off line” from its job or user to add that little piece.

– Then add in the cost of that person who has no PC or laptop for the duration (which can be a few hours for something like a larger disk drive that needs the operating system re-installed)

The Total Cost of Ownership

The end result is that little PC you bought really cheaply from that corner PC store ends up costing you a lot more than you thought over its 3 or 5 year life cycle.

This total cost of ownership of a physical IT asset is something that Business Managers in the SMB space must consider if their internal “tech” or tech supplier seems to be pulling these assets apart on a daily basis for some “upgrade”.

The cheap price you may have paid, can end up costing you exponentially more over the duration of its life.

I had to tell these sales guys that I would no longer be buying “A stick of RAM” or a “new harddrive”. The extra few dollars, euro’s or pounds up front on IT hardware purchases that ensure that I never have to touch it unless it breaks, is more than worth it.

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