Want to Cut IT Maintenance Costs? 5 Questions to Ask Your Vendor

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Kevin Davis, director of IT delivery at NPI - a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. 

It’s no secret that vendors rely heavily on maintenance and support fees to keep their well-oiled machines running. In fact, most will fight tooth and nail to protect this recurring revenue stream. For that reason, many companies find more of their IT budgets going to maintenance (check out a short video on the topic here).

Many companies have turned to third-party support providers for their most common and large-scale hardware and software deployments. It’s a great option for some – but it’s not the only option.

Here are 5 questions you should ask (both your internal IT resources and your vendor) to help you cut maintenance costs on your largest IT deployments:

  1. What are you paying support on now, and can any of those deployments be supported by internal resources?
  2. When is the last time you installed an update or patch on your software? If you don’t update/patch often, consider supporting it internally.
  3. Can you go to a third party to support hardware while keeping software support with the vendor?
  4. Do your current SLAs still reflect your internal need for support? For example, are you paying for 4-hour hardware part replacement when next-day service is good enough?
  5. How can you leverage upcoming large purchases to negotiate a lower annual support costs?

Remember, most vendors will be unwilling to give up recurring revenue without a fight. Be prepared, and consider bringing in outside experts who have deep knowledge and success cutting maintenance costs in the renewal phase. In most cases, the savings are significant.

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