How to Manage the Rising Costs of Hardware Resources?

Is there a dilemma for managers in optimizing a company’s IT budget? 

Every business should analyze the costs of its technology modernization and digitalization during times of economic uncertainty. Managing the rising costs of hardware equipment involves many strategies and considerations, including the trade-off between capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenditures (OPEX) and the use of virtual resources.

CAPEX refers to the upfront costs of purchasing and setting up hardware equipment, while OPEX refers to the ongoing costs of operating and maintaining the equipment. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to purchase the hardware outright and incur the CAPEX costs upfront, while in others, it may be more cost-effective to rent or lease the equipment and OPEX costs repeatedly.

Industry research illustrates that average cloud IT costs are approximately one-third of the cost of physical IT resources. More businesses are taking a closer look into their CapEx vs. OpEx cloud deployments. So, in their analyses, optimizing IT costs and the overall effect on company budgets are among the most important tasks.

When deciding between CAPEX and OPEX, it is essential to consider the long-term costs and the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the hardware, as well as the flexibility and scalability of the equipment. For example, a company will likely need to expand its hardware capabilities. In that case, it may be more cost-effective to opt for a CAPEX model that allows for future growth rather than paying for the additional hardware as an OPEX cost.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation have severely hit supply chains worldwide, hardware costs have risen and significantly changed purchasing behavior. In the last three years, we have seen a sharp price increase in all essential parameters. Let’s name a few – hardware equipment, increased storage capacity, network enhancements, server costs, and the overall price for IT services, licenses, and maintenance. To make things worse – add the shipment costs and much longer delivery time, delayed production terms, and jumping prices for each supply. The price of electricity also plays an important role.

How do you keep peace in such turbulence and manage a healthy balance sheet? 

Some businesses decided to buy hardware equipment with higher parameters, provisioning future needs. However, when the time comes, the technical requirements will likely be much higher than the equipment offers, and software licenses should also be considered a high cost. So, this enterprise has yet to see opportunities to use its cash for operations growth, although it has taken care to secure its future needs for the needed hardware equipment. Others, in contrast, decided to trust cloud providers and achieve efficiency and control over their IT budgets.

Why is it important to embrace the cloud when evaluating CAPEX vs. OPEX?

The cloud offers agility, speed, and scale and has become a key enabler in making digital transformation possible. The key benefits of the cloud are delivery-as-a-service, consumption-based pricing, cloud-native development, simpler management, unlimited scale, integrated security, and compliance. The business has it all without worrying about whether the workloads and applications are hosted in the cloud, on-premises, or at edge locations.

Regarding virtual resources, it is vital to consider the security, reliability, and performance of the virtualized environment and the costs and benefits of such an approach. Cloud computing and virtual machines can also help reduce hardware equipment costs by efficiently using resources and reducing the need for physical hardware. Companies should carefully evaluate the long-term costs, the total cost of ownership, flexibility, and scalability when choosing the best strategy to manage their IT resources.