While most businesses typically have a carefully researched acquisition plan for new technology, the coronavirus crisis and rise of telecommuting threw many employers for a loop and caused rushed purchases of equipment like laptops en mass in order to enable staff members to work from home. Now that employees are beginning to return to the office, the question of what to do with all of the new hardware has been weighing heavy on the minds of many entrepreneurs. Luckily, there is a way to avoid feeling that your recent purchases were simply manpower and money wasted during a very reactionary time.
According to CPA Practice Advisor, The International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM) is encouraging a strategy called “asset refresh” to get the best ROI of your recent tech purchases. An asset refresh is a way for companies to update their old and outdated technology with the new hardware that was bought in order to accommodate social distancing and working from home. According to IAITAM CEO Dr. Barbara Rembiesa, “Many businesses made purchases that they were not preparing for, in haste, to accommodate a remote workforce” but in the wake of the pandemic “…this is the time to stop reacting and start planning.”
Many businesses typically delay upgrading computers and other essential hardware because it is more cost effective to maintain old machines than to buy new ones. However, if you already purchased new tech amidst the pandemic, this may be your golden opportunity to upgrade your office setup! An IT asset manager can assist you in evaluating “asset refresh cycles” in order to determine all anticipated costs associated with an asset throughout its entire life, from acquiring the item to maintaining it to its eventual disposal costs. Doing so can help you determine the best financial plan for your IT inventory going forward.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that while social distancing requirements are being lifted, the COVID-19 pandemic has likely caused a long-term shift in the way the business world runs. While some staff may be back in office, there will likely be more focus on remote employees, cloud storage, data protection, and asset mobility in the future. Whatever decision you make regarding the new technology you have acquired in the past few months can be used to futureproof your organization, and an ongoing focus on your IT department can set you up for success going forward.
If you decide to forgo an asset refresh and instead choose to stick with your current hardware, you can donate unnecessary assets to charity or sell them off to recoup some of the profit losses associated with the virus.