Why are you still buying network and system hardware?

April 21, 2021

When we talk with different organizations, invariably the conversation at some point comes to what they are being recommended for switches, firewalls, access points, etc. Most of the time we are being asked to provide our opinion from a cybersecurity perspective and from a business perspective. The more I think about these conversations, the less I understand why smaller companies that outsource their IT services are buying these.

Now I understand the argument that if the company owns it, it would be easier to switch to a different provider. There is also the concept of it’s my business and I control the keys to the kingdom. The one I hear the most though? It’s cheaper to buy upfront then to pay for a managed device. All of these arguments are flawed, and here is why.

The new provider will want to swap our aging network hardware within a year or two because it will be outdated, unsupported, too expensive licensing, not enough throughput, or because it keeps malfunctioning. All of these are valid, but the biggest reason is the older the device the more of a headache it is for IT provider, internal or external, to maintain.

As far as owning the keys to the kingdom, if you insist that your environment is properly documented and you have your accounts to the devices, whether owned or leased or as part of the service, you are still in control.

The biggest issue I have with SMBs owning network and system hardware is unless you have a dedicated internal IT infrastructure team, you are essentially paying twice: there is a hefty upfront capital expense and there ongoing monthly and annual operations costs. These prohibit you from concentrating on your business as they force to think and budget constantly for replacement, support, etc.

Feel free to reach out with questions or if you would like to explore hardware as a service more

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