When’s the last time you bought a DVD? You probably have to think really hard just to remember the last time you even WATCHED one of those, right? These days, most people just rely on platforms like Netflix and Hulu when they’ve got a hankering to watch something that isn’t on HBO later tonight, and the days of spending thousands on a big collection of DVDs are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
And that’s a good thing, isn’t it? You save money, you get the added convenience of being able to watch the programs you want without having to go find a DVD to load, and you can watch almost anything you want, anytime you want it. It’s the future of entertainment, and everyone is getting on board.
Time to do the same thing with your business technology.
The future of technology budgeting and purchasing is moving to a subscription model like Netflix. Rather than outright buying all the different pieces of hardware and software you need to run your business, you’ll instead pay a flat-rate monthly fee for everything you need.
You won’t own your I.T. yourself, but rather lease it from a provider set up to handle everything in the backend. There are two major benefits to the subscription model of I.T. budgeting:
- Predictability: By eliminating upfront purchases of hardware and by offering all-you-can-eat support packages, I.T. companies are making it easy to nail down a single rate for ALL I.T. needs every month, so you can prepare your budget ahead of time and not worry about unexpected extra fees down the road.
- Reliability: By moving towards virtual and hosted systems, businesses won’t have to worry about hardware breaking down or systems becoming obsolete. Their I.T. provider will handle upgrades and replacements as part of their subscription, and business owners won’t have to set aside extra money “just in case.”
Ultimately, it comes down to choosing whether you want your technology purchasing to fall under capital or operating expenses. Any CFO will tell you that operating expenses are easier to account for – you can plan for them in advance and you can hold someone else responsible for any problems that occur in the operations.
If your subscription I.T. isn’t living up to what it’s supposed to do, you can demand it be fixed by your provider, or you can move to a new provider instead. You won’t be stuck with a bunch of expensive technology you purchased that is now gathering dust in the back because it can’t do the job it’s supposed to.
There are three major types of new technology systems and services that make the subscription model work:
- Virtual Systems: A lot of hardware is becoming obsolete thanks to virtualization – the ability to mimic hardware functions with software. Most businesses will get rid of hardware like email servers that require constant maintenance and regular upgrades, and move to a completely virtual model. This will eliminate many upfront technology purchases.
- Hosted Services in the Cloud: More and more I.T. services are being offered on a subscription model from the cloud – Office programs, Quickbooks, even VoIP telephone systems. That means instead of paying a big upfront cost for the software or hardware, you just pay a flat-rate monthly fee and have another business host your program for you.
- Hardware as a Service: Rather than purchasing equipment like computers or servers upfront and then being responsible for their maintenance and eventual replacement, more companies will simply lease their hardware from their I.T. provider. Your I.T. company will provide, set up, and configure all your hardware for you, take care of all maintenance, and eventually swap systems out for better models once they become obsolete.
Some CEOs might worry about not outright owning their own technology – the feel of “renting” major business assets might not sit well with some people. But it makes all the difference between capital expenses and operating expenses, and in keeping your budget reliable and predictable.
Just remember, you were going to have to replace that computer after a few years anyway – why not just get it out of the way now and let someone else worry about obsolete technology, so you can focus on getting work done with the right I.T. for YOUR needs?
As technology continues to evolve, the traditional relationship between I.T. and the workplace will evolve along with it.
Are you prepared to adapt how you do business to the new capabilities offered by the future of technology? One Source Imaging Solutions can help you find out. Call us at (800) 875- to discuss how your business can be ready to embrace the Future of Technology. 8843