Oof. If you haven’t already, be prepared to delay adding and/or replacing IT equipment, from desktops and laptops to networks and peripherals. And, now’s the time to get a firm on your speed dial if you don’t have IT support in place to help keep your network running in top condition. Industries and consumers around the world are experiencing a shortage in supplies and equipment.
It started during the pandemic when technology manufacturers slowed or shut down their production lines. This created a shortage of chips and other electronic components. What was once a setback is now a huge problem since supply and demand are out of whack and the supply chain is struggling to move all types of goods through the system. It can take months to receive IT equipment, so many retailers aren’t taking orders or are only selling in bulk. It’s a grim outlook for smaller and mid-sized businesses that rely on technology to operate efficiently, and it’s not expected to improve until late 2022 to second quarter of 2023 (fingers crossed).
The scarcity of laptops and other IT products can negatively impact your company if you don’t have an IT management strategy in place. The IT support technicians at Invision are helping businesses across Kansas City navigate this global logistics bottleneck. Here are a few suggestions to help minimize the effects on your company, employees and overall efficiency.
Take care of what you have. This is especially important with more employees working remotely and thus possibly transporting devices. Computer equipment experiences wear and tear under normal circumstances. When carried around and used outside the typical business environment, the chances for breakage increase. Reiterate to staff to be cautious using devices because replacing broken or stolen equipment could take some time.
Be over-the-top vigilant with data backups. The most common network set up for Kansas City businesses includes a server, several workstations, some local and some cloud-based software programs. Should anything happen to your equipment, you want to be able to restore your data. By “anything”, we mean an equipment failure, theft, etc. Make sure employees are saving data to a centralized place, and not their individual devices.
We highly recommend a double data backup protocol. One, backup to a local disk or server. Two, an air gapped backup system. Should the data not be available locally, the tape from an air gapped backup will allow restoration since the tape is physically removed from the drive on a regular basis. As long as that tape is safe, so is your company’s data.
Unless absolutely necessary, avoid adding IT equipment that is distinctly different from your current setup. Let’s say that your company is mostly Mac- or Microsoft- or HP-based. If your preferred brand isn’t available, you might be tempted (or forced) into using another. Now, you have an oddball. You might run across some compatibility issues at the least, not to mention a learning curve for employees, meaning any issues that used to be easily handled in-house might require outside IT support.
Look for a silver lining. Necessity is the mother of invention. If your business efficiency or operations are waning due to the supply chain, it might be time to re-evaluate your IT structure. Invision’s outsourced IT support team can evaluate your current structure and offer alternatives that are available and might lead to even better efficiency.
There’s always the refurbished market. If the IT equipment you want or need isn’t available in time or at all, you might find it in the secondary market. Just like used vehicles are hot commodities in the automotive industry right now, so are used computer products. Our outsourced IT support techs are happy to guide you to reputable sources for refurbished devices and equipment that can bridge the gap until the supply chain is fully functioning again.
To learn more about what Invision can mean to your business, contact us for a technology or IT security evaluation.