Acquiring new equipment for a business can be a challenging process. There is a lot at stake with purchasing something that affects every aspect of your business like technology. Even well-informed managers wonder if they are asking the right questions and making the right decisions. They wonder if their choices will hold up over time, or if they will end up in a cycle of fix, replace, fix, replace, fix, replace. It can be expensive when the correct choices aren’t made.

The good news is there are some strategies you can follow as you go through a new purchase of equipment that can help you avoid mistakes and ensure you end up with infrastructure that will be efficient and long-lasting.

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Consider hiring a consultant from a reputable IT services provider like Mustard IT. Having someone with your best interest at heart when dealing with vendors can mean a savings of thousands of dollars. An IT consultant will assess your current system, identify gaps in processes and productivity, and make recommendations based on their qualified experiences working in the field. This advice is extremely valuable and should be the first step you make when new equipment is required.

The key term for your new set-up should be “flexible.” As you grow, you want your computers, networks, and servers to grow with you. Another word you might hear during the sales process is “modular” meaning you can build on it down the road.

The next requirement for your purchase is “compatible.” An IT consultant should go through your current system and identify all the parts that are functioning properly. New items purchased should be compatible with current systems unless you are completing changing something like the operating system. In that case, a comprehensive overhaul may be necessary.

Stick with brand name computers and software recommended by your IT support services consultant. If you hear “I can build it myself for half the price,” consider obtaining a new consultant. While there are people who are able to build great systems from scratch, those same people also enjoy maintaining and tweaking it on a regular basis. This isn’t something a business wants to spend doing.

Instead, stick with a reputable brand name which comes with more support services, solid warranties, service plans, and updates. Brands like these give you comfort in knowing if something does go wrong, you automatically have some basic resources to fix the problem.

Your consultant can help with this, but you want to base the purchase of new equipment on the number of current users and the number of users expected in the near future. While you don’t want to buy unnecessary equipment that won’t be used yet, you do want to consider how you will expand when you need to.

Once everything is purchased, it is time for the IT consultant to bring in a team to change computers, transfer data from servers, train employees, backup files, and ensure everything works as expected. This can be a daunting and anxious task for both managers and employees. Remain positive through the process, trust in your IT professionals, and enjoy the results of increased productivity and higher profits when your new system is up and running.