Choosing a new IT tool is hard work. After first identifying what kind of tool will do the job perfectly for your company and reporting on the in-depth cost/benefit analysis you’ve performed, making an IT decision means you need to find and compare vendors and resellers, and you need to figure out how to sell your team on the new tool.

With all this, it can be easy to forget about the top five things you need to discuss before you make your next IT purchase. Planning a purchase right now? Save this article to your smartphone so you can take it with you to your next meeting.

 

1. Scalability

As your data continues to grow, your application and file sizes will also continue to grow, which means that you’ll need faster server load times to maintain the same processing speed you’re used to with smaller applications. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the processing speed you’ll require when new data simultaneously arrives in your Medlin System from widespread office or customer locations.

You’ll also want to consider the climbing costs of extra user licenses for the software you purchase, because not only will your company grow, you may also want to provide electronic portal access to your clients and contractors in the future.

Lastly, you’ll want to ensure you’ve considered both the increase and the decrease of your data needs. You’ll need more storage and processing power in your busy season, but you’ll need less in your off season.

 

2. Security

Even more important than data storage, you’ll need to have a detailed discussion about data security. We assume you’ve already discussed your backup options and that you know how to protect yourself legally in your Service Level Agreement (SLA), but what about secured employee access?

Some businesses have started using thumbprint-based recognition or other biometric tools for highly sensitive data or secured virtual areas, but IT solutions aren’t guaranteed to play well with the devices that manage those security protocols.

If you’re considering biometric security measures at your company, or you think you may consider them in the next few years, you’ll want to check into integration options and then have a discussion about the various pros and cons of your current security protocols so you can determine where else you may want to make changes.

 

3. Compliance

Data compliance continues to be a big issue when making a new tech purchase, especially when the purchasers are in the healthcare or financial industries. However, one of the biggest things that companies overlook when choosing a new IT solution (especially a cloud-based one) is that an external source will have access to business data, either during the migration process or after it.

When choosing a system that provides external access and storage, make it a priority to know about your provider’s data encryption policies and whether your data will be encrypted in transit.

In addition, ensure that your business associates (anyone who has any access at all to your data) understand what your industry’s compliance requirements are – and that they’ll follow those requirements to the letter. Your business associates may be the reason for a future non-compliance issue, but the penalties will still be your responsibility.

 

4. Integration

Gartner predicts that 20.7 billion IoT (Internet of Things) devices will be connected in our world by the end of 2020, with 7.3 billion of those connected through business environments. Although IoT still sounds like a futuristic concept to most of us, that doesn’t mean we’re not using connected things.

Got a FitBit, an Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, Nest thermostat, Sonos soundbar or a digital camera that posts to Facebook? Guess what? You’re already using the Internet of Things.

Just as these “things” make our lives more convenient as consumers, IoT devices are increasingly making it easier to run or manage a business. Before you make your next major tech purchase, you’ll want to ensure that it can integrate with the devices you suspect you’ll be using by 2020.

Don’t forget to discuss how you’ll secure your data and access points as you’re using the connected technology with your Medlin System.

 

5. Negotiation

Shocking as it may seem, it turns out that 25% of companies neglect to involve the IT department when they make a new tech purchase. This is a mistake, because your IT experts have the skills, talent and understanding needed to negotiate a better contract, and they can also cut through all the IT salesman’s patter to get to the heart of the matter.

To help inform your pre-purchase discussion, you may also want to consider these other helpful tips your IT department will be happy to talk to you about if you just ask.

 

Make the Most of Your IT Purchases
Whether you’re in the beginning stages of diving into the IT purchase process or you’ve already made your selection, it’s likely that your Medlin System will need some tweaking before you implement it.

Medlin’s unique viewpoint helps us compare your needs to the capabilities of your new technology, bringing it all together with The Medlin System – a complete network that can include IT network solutions, phone (VoIP) systems, surveillance cameras, security systems, keyless entry, audio/video/sound, cabling and more. To learn more about this outstanding investment in your network, give us a call at 1-800-4-MEDLIN.