The IT Procurement process will oftentimes look very different when comparing one company to another. Ranging from on-demand purchasing at the time of need, to highly strategic plans that span an entire year or more, different plans make sense for different businesses.
A common starting point is determining minimum hardware specs, as well as the total number of machines required. Easy enough. However, there are new elements to consider for 2022 and 2023.
In an effort to educate decision makers on some of these considerations, we will take an in-depth look at what’s changing in the IT Procurement process, and aid you in coming to a conclusion on what makes the most sense for your company.
1. Windows 11
Are there immediate benefits to making the switch? This should be the very first factor to recognize, as it will probably have the largest impact on the hardware options available to you. While most of the hardware requirements to run Windows 11 are not exceedingly high, the machines WILL however require a TPM chip.
TPM stands for “Trusted Platform Module” and it is essentially a tiny chip installed on the motherboard or integrated within the CPU. This chip acts as a cryptography key or authenticator. They are integrated in newer machines, but have never been a requirement for an Operating System until now with Windows 11.
Meeting the Requirements and Early Adoption rate
In a recent study, Lansweeper, an IT Asset Management Software company, polled 30 million Windows devices, across 60,000 organizations to learn more about Windows 11 usage. They discovered that only 0.52% of the machines were on Windows 11, and that 55% of the machines polled didn’t meet the requirements.
The lack of adoption rate shouldn’t be surprising, because new Operating Systems typically go through a period of growing pains with compatibility and quality of life issues. The added barrier to requiring new machines certainly doesn’t help either.
Windows 10 Official Support until 2025
Another important aspect is that new Operating Systems typically go through a period of growing pains. Compatibility and Quality of Life issues can take months or years to work out. Combining this with the fact that Windows 10 will be officially supported by Microsoft until 2025, we have 3 years (as of the writing of this blog) until that time.
Perfectly aligning with that 3 year period is the optimal refresh rate for business computers. In a whitepaper by Wipro Technologies and Intel, titled “ Using Total Cost of Ownership to Determine Optimal PC Refresh Lifecycles”, it was determined that the optimal refresh rate for business computers was every 3 years.
2. Work from Home Employees
Over recent years, the amount of remote employees in companies was trending upwards, and the COVID pandemic spiked it further. Data collected by Statista shows that at a year into the pandemic, 58.6% of the total U.S. workforce was working remotely. For some companies, the remote worker business model will remain, yet others need to bring people back on location.
The decision of your company’s structure is best left for you to decide, but what we do know is that fast and easy deployment of your computers should be of the utmost importance. This is achieved in different ways, based on how much of your staff will be working remotely.
3. Challenges in Forecasting
Purchasing new business computers is becoming unreasonable. Long fulfillment times to bring in new machines is creating headaches for CIOs and IT Directors everywhere. No longer can they purchase new computers as needed, or stick to the procurement schedule that had worked in the past..
A solution that some companies have moved to is simply overestimating their needs, and buying in higher quantities. However, while bundling an entire year’s worth of needs into a massive single order is a viable solution for some companies, most cannot afford it.
4. IT Budget Breakdown
Leveraging some information from a survey of over 1000 IT decision-makers, we can make some assertions about how technology spending has evolved over the past two years. Here are some key takeaways.
- With more integration of cloud computing, there has been a small decrease in IT Hardware spending, down from 33% of the budget in 2020 to 30% in 2022.
- Cloud spending has gone up from 22% to 26%.
- It’s estimated that 25% of workers will begin working remotely on a permanent basis.
Taking this information into account, it’s clear that more companies are becoming reliant on Cloud Storage. The massive uptick in remote work is likely the largest influence for the shift.
Here’s the logical reasoning as to why. Options for facilitating collaborative access to important files and documents are either Cloud Storage or using On Site Servers. The problem with On Site servers is that remote employees are unable to connect unless using a VPN (which can be a headache for lesser technically inclined employees, as well as the IT support helping them). For this reason, the increase in Cloud spending makes complete sense.
So the extra spend in Cloud Storage can be justified, but at the cost of having less to use for IT Procurement.