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Sharing Our Expertise October 2021

Any In-house IT manager will tell you…if you do not have sufficient warranties in place for your servers, networking hardware and end-user workstations and laptops…you are essentially ‘hoping’ that something does not go wrong. Take it from me folks…from the ‘board room’ to the ‘battlefield’ – H-O-P-E has never been, nor ever will be, an acceptable strategy.

IT vendors and equipment manufacturers know this – going so far as to proactively attach their own basic warranties – usually 1 year minimum for new computers and 3 years for servers.  But these warranties can be limited – covering manufacturing defects, but not other types of damage or loss.  There must be an in-depth awareness of what specifically your IT warranties cover. 

Every IT product under your roof is vital to business operations.  Every time one is purchased, there should be a basic protocol in place for reviewing the importance of that new product in terms of the cost in time and productivity that would be lost in the event of a sustained malfunction or total breakdown.  Consider:

  • If your server goes down and employees can’t work, you’re losing far more money than you would have paid for a warranty. You may be waiting days or weeks for repair. If the server requires replacement, it will probably take two to three weeks for it to be delivered and configured.
  • Any basic workstation or laptop warranties require the device to be shipped to the vendor to repair. This can and has taken weeks before the repaired machine returns to the end-user.

If either of these scenarios happened to you, would you know the ‘real dollar’ loss posed to your business?  More importantly, would your existing warranty protect you against this loss?

Here’s another head-scratcher…basic end user workstation warranties tend to be for one to three years.  But the operational life of a computer can be on average up to five years.  In some cases, manufacturers will allow businesses to renew their hardware warranty to cover all five years – at which point most equipment is beyond its serviceable life and should be considered for replacement.  But if this is not an option, what are you supposed to do?

The Business Case for Extended Warranties

Yes…extended warranties are a multi-billion business. Yes…manufacturers make lucrative margins on them because they know that most people will never take them up on the offer.  And yes…I am certain all of us have (at least once in our lives) declined the opportunity to purchase one during a retail transaction.

However, when it comes to your enterprise, extended warranties should almost always be viewed as ‘the cost of doing business.’ You wouldn’t buy a car without car insurance, and you shouldn’t buy computer equipment without a warranty – to the tune of 3 years minimum for new computers and 5 years for servers.

What happens if you never need the extended warranty?  Congratulations! Just like you don’t want to get in a car crash to get value from your car insurance, the extended warranty provides peace of mind and protection for your business. 

In summary, IT warranties are an essential part of protecting your business – and, while you should have some form of warranty coverage for all your equipment, that level of coverage should be decided by carefully reviewing your risk and choosing the most appropriate option.

This is one way businesses can continually evaluate how to lower their risk. Performing regular business backups is another. And aligning yourself with a proven IT partner you can rely on is the third.

To learn more about IT warranties and the best available options for your business, please contact Todd Gooden at todd@mysolutionsteam.com