Should I buy a new server?

 

Short answer. Probably not. 

Investing in future junk...

Business leaders are starting to figure this out.

Of course the real answer is, it depends. But it's easier than ever to figure out if you need to buy a new server and, more importantly, how much you should invest. Ask yourself some business school 101 questions. 

What new value is the server creating? If the new server is purchased, what new capabilities will your firm gain? What competitive advantage will you gain? How does the new server increase productivity? How will the new server help you beat the competition? How will your customers benefit from this investment in a plastic and metal box? 

**The average company spends 80% of its IT budget on maintaining its existing IT infrastructure.**

You don't need a server for email. 

You don't need a server to store and share files. 

So what do you need a server for? Maybe you have an on-premises app that runs an important business process and runs it well. OK, that stays on the server. Does that service need a new box? Why? Does it have to be the biggest, most expensive box around? Probably not. Can you buy that server at Costco? Yep. 

Unfortunately small and medium sized businesses get ripped off constantly by legacy IT vendors (don't feel too bad, it's even worse in the Enterprise). While it is slowly improving, there is not enough transparency around several key components of technology applications and services: 

  • cost
  • functionality
  • reliability
  • security

IT Vendors hide behind this lack of transparency. They inflate pricing. They over-provision hardware and software. Businesses are left with shelf-ware and systems that run at less than 10% of their capacity. Businesses buy a lot of crap they don't need and won't use. 

Transparencies of Scale

Cloud Computing services drive what we refer to as Transparencies of Scale. If Gmail goes down, it makes the global news. That drives reliability transparency. Every business pays $5 a month for Gmail for Business. That drives cost transparency. Google rolls out new features to everyone. That drives functionality transparency. Google shares their security practices. That drives security transparency. Google's not alone. When's the last time Amazon.com went down? How about Facebook or Linkedin? These services work. We ask our browser for Amazon.com and Amazon is there, ready for us to shop to our heart's content. Any time, any device, any location. These are modern cloud services. These firms are the modern day IBMs, Microsofts, and Oracles. 

You don't need yesterday's technology running on a plastic box in the closet. Invest in tomorrow and demand crystal clear answers to those business school 101 questions.