Don’t Let the Global Chip Shortage Derail Your Business

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July 21, 2021

Hardware Procurement Strategies to Keep You One Step Ahead of Pandemic-Era Supply Problems

In an world where just-in-time manufacturing was considered best-practice, it’s fair to say that no one in the tech-industry saw the pandemic coming. But if the pandemic has taught hardware procurement staffers anything, it’s that the global supply chain of semiconductors in fragile. There are lots of answers to the question of why we are in the midst of a chip shortage of historic proportions—trade sanctions, worker shortages in the factories and ports, factory shutdowns, and more. But for those of us whose job it is to make sure staff has updated, secure computing equipment, there’s only one question that matters. What are you going to do about it?

Every business in the world is grappling with a global chip shortage that is not expected to let up until the second quarter of 2022. But, as an IT managed service provider working with hundreds of businesses across the US, we’re here to tell you: there are ways around this. The key is thinking strategically about your hardware procurement. Here’s how.

Do a Global Chip Shortage-Inspired Inventory Audit

Every company keeps track of their hardware inventory and their software licenses. But have you thought about your warranties? Are there any devices that are eligible for an upgrade, repair, or replacement under your service contracts or warranties? Are there models slated for replacement that could, in fact, be put off for another year? With more employees working remotely, will you realistically be needing more equipment, or less? It’s time to do a deep dive into your hardware procurement needs, and figure out what you really need, and what you don’t.

Activate Hardware Procurement Six Months Ahead of Need, or More

The days of waiting patiently to order until the latest models come out is over, at least until the end of 2022. As of now, assume that anything you order will take at least six months to arrive. So order early, ahead of when you’ll actually need the device. And be prepared to sacrifice the model you want for the model you can get.

Migrate to the Cloud

A global chip shortage is pretty much exhibit A for why your company should migrate to the cloud. Why? Because it allows your organization to become nearly device agnostic. With your data, software and backups handled in the cloud, you’ll no longer need to worry about whether your devices are updated enough to handle your traffic load. You’ll free up disk space and extend the life of your devices, and eliminate many of the headaches that come with hardware procurement. And you’ll no longer need to worry about maintaining expensive on-site server rooms, either.

This is especially true, now that Microsoft has announced Windows 365 Cloud PC. This revolutionary new streaming platform puts Microsoft’s entire operating system in the cloud. This year, Integris was named among a handful of global managed service providers who were tapped by Microsoft to test and refine Cloud PC. Now we’re here to tell you—this platform is going to change everything. And it could make any global chip shortage in the future far less scary.

Slated to release in fall 2021, Windows 365 Cloud PC will make it possible for your employees to sign in securely from anywhere, on any device, and have their entire work desktop experience available at their fingertips. That means they can securely and fully collaborate on the computer at the internet cafe, their home device, a library—anywhere. There won’t be so many worries about what model of computer they are using, whether their virtual private network is active, or whether they are running the correct operating system. All that is taken care of in the cloud.

The sooner your company makes the modern workplace journey to the cloud, the sooner you’ll be able to slow down your hardware procurement schedule, and take the stress out of your device supply chain.

Expand Your Bring-Your-own-Device Policy

With a migration to the cloud, it begs the question: do you even need to issue devices at all? With so many employees working from home, could a bring-your-own-device option stand in until hardware can be successfully ordered? It’s time to review your policies around bring your own device, in light of these temporary procurement hurdles.

Order your Hardware Through a Managed Service Provider

If you’re already working with a managed service provider (MSP) like Integris, you know, they can be your greatest friend when it comes to hardware procurement. Not only can an MSP inventory, install and service your hardware, they have special relationships that allow them to get more hardware, faster, and order direct from trade distributors. An MSP will almost always be able to get your hardware faster than you can get it yourself. In fact, we recently put together a free, short webinar that will give you some quick tips for how to get better deals for your business. Give it a look.

But, if you’re not already working with an MSP, did you know that most of them will still be glad to order your hardware for you—without having a long-term service contract? That’s right, hardware procurement can be handled by most MSPs, including Integris, on an a la carte basis. So why not take advantage of the ordering clout an MSP can provide you? Here’s how that works.

Explore Your Procurement Options

If you’re interested in what an MSP can do for you, we’ve got some advice to offer. Iconic offers a free IT Buyers Guide, which can help you do your homework, before you start shopping for an IT service partner. Check it out!

Susan Gosselin is a Solutions Writer for Integris. A career communicator and business journalist, she's written extensively on IT topics and trends for IT service providers like Iconic IT and ProCoders Ukraine, as well as business publications such as Technologyadvice.com, Datamation.com, The Lane Report and many others. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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