Technology Shortages – Adjust your Technology Plan

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Demand for devices and technology components has far outweighed supply since Spring 2020. This will likely impact your technology plan for the next year at a minimum.

In the wake of the pandemic, business and personal technology usage has been largely decentralized. Paired with delays in component manufacturing and distribution, this shift continues to have organizations and individuals clambering for devices and components of every kind. And this unmet demand is projected to persist well into 2021 as the supply chain continues to have an insurmountable shortage throughout.

Nikkei Asia, a publisher of Asian news and analysis to a global audience, reports, “The scramble for parts cuts across various segments — from basic materials like glass and substrates to semi-finished components such as displays, one of the priciest bits of many electronic devices. And it covers chips from processors and driver integrated circuits to those used for power management and connectivity — all of which are made by companies such as TSMC and UMC and supplied to different chip developers to fulfill device-builders’ demand further down the supply chain.” (see Nikkei Asia’s full article, Booming Demand for PCs and Phones Squeezes Tech Supply Chain)

Shortages across the spectrum of technology leave small and mid-sized businesses in a bind as they continue to adjust to new work conditions and attempt to either address their own industry’s demand or make up for lost revenue over the past year. We continue to work with clients to adjust technology plans for the immediate, and possibly foreseeable future. Here are a few dos and don’ts as you assess your technology needs:

 

Dos

  • Focus on preventive maintenance
    Technology will fail at some point, but preventive maintenance can often prolong the need or give you ample foresight. Both outcomes will help navigate supply shortages.
  • Cascade hardware
    Higher-end devices that meet requirements and beyond can sometimes be easier to procure than those that meet your average specifications for end-user workstations or laptops. Consider purchasing the higher-end device for management, and cascade devices to meet the immediate need.
  • Empower purchasing
    Give your team the green-light to purchase devices whenever they become available even without an immediate need. Many businesses are accustomed to receiving hardware no more than two to three days; however, many businesses have a good idea of what they will need over the next year. Confirm your needs and empower your team to purchase devices as they are available – even just a few hours waiting for approval has been problematic in securing hardware in current conditions.

Don’ts

  • DO NOT use consumer devices as is
    Consumer devices can certainly be an option use within your business, especially in a pinch. However, be sure to properly upgrade and image the device for your environment and optimal performance. Two other items to note:
    • The device may require additional work when updating software and components down the line
    • Business-class warranties are typically better
  • DO NOT allow for bring-your-own-device without preparation and cooperation
    Opening your environment to allow for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) requires a strong technology policy, as well as proper maintenance and security habits on both the business and end-user’s part. Use our BYOD guide as a starting point if you are considering doing so.

Technology purchasing teams, like ours, scour several vendors daily watching for devices that fit the needs of clients. Each business has their own unique needs and circumstances; however, the shortage in technology hardware seems like it will be a consistent factor for some time to come. These conditions call for diligence in maintenance and planning.

Contact your SSR account executive or our inside sales team for more information about hardware availability or technology planning.


Summary: adjust your technology plans to allow for procurement

  • Gaps in production paired with escalated demand, has resulted in technology shortages.
  • Enhanced preventive maintenance can help prolong the need for new hardware enough to wait out shortages.
  • Cascading hardware and empowering your purchasing team can help procure devices in faster.
  • Consumer and employee devices are not advised solutions.
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