A question that customers often ask the Runtime team when we are evaluating their IT environment is “Do we really need an extended warranty or an NBD (Next Business Day) warranty?”

The costs of maintaining equipment under warranty can add up and often to the point where it can be 50% of the purchase price of a replacement item.

So why do we do it, and should we have IT equipment under warranty?

This is something each business needs to evaluate based the type of business you run, on the item (server, printer, network switch, workstation, laptop so on) and its importance to the running of day to day operations. Sadly there is no blanket rule.

Let’s look at a couple of scenarios

Scenario 1

An Office with 5 active staff members share roles and work on 5 Workstations.

Each staff member has responsibilities that overlap with the other office staff.

Is a NBD or 4 Hour response time warranty required?

The immediate answer to this is usually No, however how would your answer change if the Organisation was a hospital’s Emergency Department or a Fire Station?



Scenario 2

A very busy Restaurant has 1 front of house computer that is dedicated
for reservations, seating management and processing orders for the kitchen.

Is a NBD or 4 Hour response time warranty required?

The immediate answer to this might be Yes, however would your answer change if you knew the busy restaurant has 6 staff and 20 tables, prints out their reservation list 2 weeks in advance and

can write order slips the old fashioned way?



Considerations

Some general considerations when factoring warranties into your purchase and business plan

  • If this device fails how many people will be impacted?
  • Do you have a workaround strategy if the device fails?
  • Can the user/s work elsewhere to continue working productively?
  • Are other services dependent on this device? AKA a server that hosts your internal files, printers and management system can pose significant impact.
  • Are there any security risks should the device fail? Think CCTV
  • In the event of failure will this device stop any plant machinery from operating or back up the production line?
  • Do we have a valid backup regime that mitigates potential data loss?
  • Can the cost of purchasing equipment outright be changed into a lease to own or lease to return that can include warranty and reduce upfront costs?


Summary

When planning your business’s next investment in IT equipment and looking at warranty requirements don’t just look at the underlying cost. Look at your business as a whole and how having the security of quick warranty service may/may not be of value.

If unsure speak to your IT service provider, if they genuinely have your best interests at heart they will provide you unbiased advice.