IT Supply Chain Disruptions & Third Party Maintenance
Long Lead Times & Supply Chain Delays
What’s causing the increased lead times and delays?
If you’ve seen the news lately or have tried to order new gear from many manufacturers, you’re probably aware of the supply chain issues plaguing various industries right now. Unfortunately, the IT sector has not escaped unscathed, and a perfect storm of problems has contributed to the massive lead times many OEMs (and their customers) are experiencing.
Besides the obvious causes like pandemic lockdowns and complications arising from a lack of shipping and receiving employees, other more nuanced factors have also added to the problem.
A drastic and sudden rise in employees working from home created a demand for the IT infrastructure and support needed to make it possible, and everyone needed equipment and networks immediately up and running.
Also, many companies that make components experienced shifting demands — some faced less demand slowing production and others more demand, despite decreased production capabilities (due to lockdowns). Either way, the significant swing contributed to the chaos. Chip manufacturing complications have also played a role, and together the barrage of these issues is causing lead times to be significantly longer than usual.
Increased lead times for servers, network and storage equipment are widespread right now, ranging from a couple months to over a year. Networking equipment has been the hardest hit, and many expect the extended lead times and escalating costs to continue into 2022. So what can you do in the face of extended lead times and delays for new servers, networking devices and storage equipment?
What You Can Do About Server, Storage & Networking Delays
Don’t wait until the term is up on your warranty or until the end of the quarter before making arrangements for your IT infrastructure needs. If new technology is a priority in the next few years, make plans now for how that will be accomplished. Speedy turnarounds and quick decisions might not be possible for a while. It's also a good idea to beef up your redundancy plan with a well-stocked supply of spare parts and even additional devices if possible.
Use Resources Efficiently
By utilizing the resources you already have, you'll be able to eek more life out of your current devices while you wait for new equipment to become available. Routine maintenance should be a priority to ensure devices are running at their optimum levels.
A third party maintenance hardware support contract can also be beneficial, especially for equipment with expired manufacturer warranties. If you don't already have a remote monitoring program in place, now might be a good time to evaluate whether it will be a good fit to help you keep tabs on your environment more efficiently.
You can also explore expanding your use of cloud resources. Some companies find it useful to increase cloud usage for short periods, such as during a move, migration, or peak business times. While waiting for servers and other equipment to ship, a cloud subscription can help fill the gaps.
Consider Refurbished Hardware
The secondary market has a plethora of servers, storage devices, and networking equipment available for immediate shipment. Refurbished hardware can be a great option for companies that need IT solutions now.
Let’s say you’re wanting a couple Dell R750s or even some new Dell R740s. Lead times are really backed up, and you’ll probably be waiting for quite a while. But if waiting doesn’t fit with your timeline, we can help you put together something comparable with refurbished components that will work just fine and be ready to go immediately. If you’ve tried to purchase networking gear in particular, you know that you could be waiting a year or more for shipment. And some manufacturers are even prohibiting the cancellation of orders once they are placed. But that’s where refurbished networking gear can come in and salvage the situation, even if it’s only until new gear becomes available.
Read more about the benefits of purchasing IT equipment from the secondary market. It’s important to source devices from reliable sources, and M Global can help you ensure the refurbished gear you purchase is fully functional and backed by our warranty.
How Third Party Maintenance Can Help
Despite the many problems that have arisen from the supply chain issues and long lead times of IT equipment, TPM providers have been able to step into the gap and create solutions for clients, offering hardware support contracts on equipment that has to stay put. And like M Global, many providers offer hardware solutions with refurbished devices, parts, and components.
If your hardware refresh or IT lifecycle plans have been disrupted, it might be a good time to consider options that can make it possible to keep things running smoothly. Even if a full hardware refresh is on the books in the near future, a short-term TPM contract can cover your backside while you wait for shipment and even during the migration once the equipment arrives.
Let M Global Help
Contact us if you'd like to find out more about how we can help find solutions to your hardware dilemmas. We're happy to assist you, and will work with you to find the best option for your unique IT environment!
Written by Angie Stephens with contributions from M Global team members including SMEs, management executives, and more.