November 30, 2021
By Rhia Prajes
Semiconductor chips play a vital role in the production of most technology today, including personal computers, automobiles, video game consoles, household appliances, and more. So, when manufacturers of computer chips shut down during the pandemic, it created a domino effect on the supply and sales of technology across the board due to shortages of these critical components.
It is currently estimated that the supply chain problems will continue into 2023 due to shipping delays and shortages of materials and labor, posing many challenges to businesses today. On average, businesses are seeing 3-month waiting periods to procure new hardware, though some organizations are seeing waits as long as eight months. For that reason, it is highly important that businesses know how they can best approach these issues to minimize their impact to productivity and profitability.
Here are some key considerations for businesses as they consider procuring new hardware:
Create a Year-long Procurement Plan
As device performance can play a major role in your organization’s overall productivity, it is advisable to plan ahead for your technology procurement while shortages remain in effect. A strategic assessment of your IT infrastructure and assets is a great place to start. For example, if you have been upgrading your company PCs every 5 years, you will want to check where each computer currently is in its lifecycle to see if it will be due for replacement within the next year and a half.
Ordering such upgrades at least six months in advance will give room for shipping delays and offer flexibility for your business’s supply chain management. As chip shortages have affected the production of nearly all types of hardware, similar adjustments should be made for your firewalls, servers, printers, and other business infrastructure.
Consider alternative technology solutions
Having contingency plans for delays to maintain productivity is also a key to sustaining the urgency of meeting your business IT needs. For example, while your staff may have been married to a particular brand or model of desktop PC, you may instead want to opt for a 2-in-1 laptop or an all-in-one PC that is not in as short of a supply. While such hardware may be less familiar, it may be a necessary adjustment to ensure staff has access to capable PCs.
Opt for Cloud-based PCs
With the current supply chain issues, it is imperative to have powerful and flexible tools to solve both supply bottlenecks and productivity issues. Rather than replacing your PCs, the use of virtual desktops hosted in the cloud can help extend the life of physical hardware and offer a performance upgrade to your staff.
This technology also has the benefit of a relatively low barrier to entry, meaning that you can get up and running without the large capital expense associated with simply replacing your PCs. Or if replacing a PC is absolutely necessary, utilizing a Cloud PC enables you to procure more lightweight replacements which have not had the same demand.
Migrate to the clouD
While the biggest impact to supply chains has been personal computers, it is important to keep in mind that these chip shortages will also impact the production of server hardware. For businesses with an on-premises server presence, transitioning to cloud-based hosting will avoid current supply chain issues and reduce capital expense, which can be a very important benefit as the pandemic incurs additional business costs elsewhere.
With all these IT problems arising, it is important to have a trusted and reliable IT partner to help consult and advise on the best approach. As a Microsoft Gold Partner and certified reseller of PCs, Metro CSG can help assist you with planning out your procurement strategy.