When buying hardware for your enterprise it might be a good idea to consider refurbished, reconditioned or off-brand equipment. Here are some considerations and reasons why you should.
There is no denying that the most compelling reason to buy refurbished or off-brand equipment rather than new, brand-name products is the fact that in almost every case you can save a significant amount money.
How much money depends on the product, the vendor and situation but you can almost always save a minimum of 20 percent or more, and it is not uncommon to see some products from 30 to 70 percent lower than what you would pay for similar, new models.
2) Most value for money
When OEMs introduce a new line of products they usually offer a range of options from entry-level units with minimal specifications up to their top-of-the-line models packed with all the bells and whistles.
Yes, you could get a low-end version of the newest model for a relative low price, but for that same amount you could get a slightly older, refurbished model. It might come with some older specifications, but you should always consider, if the product does not fit your demands anyway, and furthermore, you will probably be able to upgrade your refurbished system.
In other words: You can get an older, top-of-the-line model for the price of this year’s bottom-of-the-line model.
3) Maintaining compatibility
Many companies have policies in place that everyone must use the same equipment with the same specifications, but when you need to replace a broken device it can be difficult to find that specific model.
Often you can find an exact match from a supplier of refurbished equipment, and it will probably be less expensive than the original.
Furthermore, many companies that have invested significantly in custom software or hardware solutions, in their case it might make more sense to stay with legacy systems that have already been thoroughly tested rather than buying new hardware and must rewrite or upgrade all their valuable software and custom hardware solutions.
There is an old tech saying, “never buy the first release of anything”. The reason is simple; the manufacturer has not had time to test the product thoroughly and identify bugs and errors.
Second and third versions are almost always more stable. Refurbished equipment has been tested in the field and the bugs have already been found and corrected.
Buying refurbished or reconditioned equipment means doing your part to reduce the ever-increasing volumes of e-waste being generated every year.
Every refurbished server, storage system, networking, laptop, printer, etc. you buy is one less piece of equipment going to the waste disposal site.
And remember that refurbished equipment has already made its CO2 footprint once. A new system means another significant CO2 footprint when being manufactured.
6) Testing New Technologies
If you are considering moving to a new type of technology in your company, you might want to run a few field tests before implementing and rolling it out.
For example, if you are consider changing from networking system to another, you might want to test how well it is performing in the practice. Refurbished or off-brand equipment can be an inexpensive way to try out new technologies at a fraction of the cost.
7) Cheaper and Easier to Maintain
If you buy brand-new equipment your IT department is going to have to spend time learning a whole new set of installation and configuration procedures, they will not know how to troubleshoot or maintain that equipment for a while and educating people in using the new equipment can be time consuming for everyone and result in down-time.
If you have a mix of old and new equipment that just makes things worse. However, if you resupply your people with the same equipment that they are comfortable operating, then all your installation, configuration, troubleshooting, maintenance, and training problems have been solved, and will take a fraction of the time.
You will also benefit from the fact that you probably already have suppliers who support your existing equipment and older/legacy systems often will have a wider range of support for things like disks and other parts - making them cheaper to maintain.
8) Reduce Loss
If your equipment is going to be subject to stressful situations on a regular basis then it makes sense to buy less expensive, refurbished equipment. It will not suffer quite as much when operated in a harsh environment on a more frequent basis.
There are many reasons to considering buying refurbished or off-brand equipment rather than brand new, more expensive equipment. It may not be the right choice in every situation but most of the time it can save you money, and that is something that every IT executive is being measured by.