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August 27, 2021

Why Should My MSP Mandate Hardware Lifecycles?

Antonio Neglia

Yes, in a perfect world, clients would replace their hardware before it starts to wear out. The world’s not perfect and hardware is pricey, so how can we get them to actually do it?

Why Should My MSP Mandate Hardware Lifecycles?

It turns out that the brand new, state of the art computer your client purchased back in 2014 isn’t so new anymore and is killing you in 2021. We’d put money on the fact that you’ve seen the negative effects of aging hardware assets with almost all of your clients, so what do you do? Start by having your MSP mandate hardware lifecycles. Here are the three reasons why.

Top 3 Reasons to Mandate Hardware Lifecycles

1. Protect Your Clients from Their IT Infrastructure

If you’ve read our blog post “The True Cost of Slow Computers” you’ll already know how slow and aging hardware assets can quickly create big problems for you and your client. Computer electronics wear out from wear and tear, their performance degrades, and component failure rates increase dramatically over time, leaving your MSP in a particularly nasty position. Multiple service calls to repeatedly fix assets can yield wasted time, angry customers, and the possibility of putting you on the chopping block.

By mandating hardware lifecycles, you can ensure that your clients are equipped with newer, faster, and better-performing hardware that can prevent downtime, frustration, and firefighting. Ultimately, rolling out fresh hardware before things get dicey can protect your client from their own environment.

2. Finding Support for Older Devices

At one point in time, your clients decided to invest into their IT environment and it probably didn’t come cheap. Knowing this, clients will often fall into the trap of sinking money into aging assets, or what we call the new truck analogy - “I spent a lot of money on this truck, so I’m going to keep fixing it until I drive it into the ground.”

Just like vehicles, replacement parts for slow computers and servers become increasingly sparse as time goes on. As components become phased out, their availability tanks, prices surge, and your client is forced into replacing the hardware altogether. To nobody’s surprise, software updates and application installs can further bog down your clients’ systems or will not be supported. Have you ever installed the Adobe CC Suite on an old machine? We rest our case.

3. Simplify Conversations With Your Clients

It sucks spending money, but the reality is, having your clients invest into their IT infrastructure now can save them from the long list of headaches later down the road. 

Having dialogue that mandates hardware lifecycles early on in your client relationships can set expectations come the time for hardware replacements. Additionally, hardware standards can be baked into your service agreements to simplify the process and provide a framework for all decisions. Because the actions you require your client to take are already predefined, you won’t risk haggling over what to do with individual assets.

By adopting hardware standards and baking them into your contracts, your MSP can make hardware purchasing rotations much easier because the expenses are already forecasted. This ensures that your clients are not struck by sticker-shock come the time to replace their hardware assets, and can expect when major purchases will take place.

We don’t want our clients to have at-risk assets in their environment, so we include hardware standards in all of our service agreements. We try to get all of our clients on rotations for a better experience. This protects both our clients and ourselves from having to deal with downtime when something bites the dust.

Russell Kuhl
Director of Technology, 1 Point Networks

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