End user computing device shortage: Important advice from SHI

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The continued impact of COVID-19 on the production of end user computing devices is leading to some products being unavailable and others suffering much longer lead times than normal. While this shortage began in early 2020, it is still ongoing, and we can expect it to continue for much of 2021.

Why are we sharing this bleak information with you?

Because at SHI we believe it is important to work closely with our customers to help you overcome these device shortages where we can, and to help you cope with them where we cannot.

Working closely with our experts in hardware, configuration, and end user computing, we have compiled advice that is relevant for all SHI customers and any other organization considering a device refresh program in 2021.

Don’t delay: Act today

Analysts are forecasting continued increased demand for devices in 2021. Combined with ongoing supply chain disruptions, there simply are not enough end user devices to go around. As such, even if you are not actively planning a refresh until the second half of 2021, we strongly recommend that you talk with your SHI account rep and our device specialists to understand your options and create a device acquisition strategy that best meets your needs.

These options might include:

1. Bring forward purchasing plans without incurring upfront costs

Thanks to SHI’s immense storage capacity and great working relationships with device manufacturers, we recommend that all customers accelerate their device acquisition plans, even if they are not yet ready to roll them out to end users.

Your SHI account team is ready to help. By working with you to understand the situation and how it affects your existing device acquisition plans, they can start working immediately with your preferred vendors to set supply expectations and even pre-order products to ensure you hit your deadlines.

If cost and budgets are a major concern, you might be able to take advantage of SHI’s flexible financing solutions. This means that you can create a dedicated reserved inventory of devices at one of SHI’s Integration Center facilities and then only pay for devices as they are shipped to end users.

This is perhaps the best way of ensuring you have devices ready for your users without incurring costs earlier than you had planned.

2. Consider alternate models and vendors to your standardized devices

While you might have, with good reason, standardized on certain device models and manufacturers, now is perhaps a great time to explore other options that provide equally effective solutions. This could be especially true if your organization is moving to more permanent support a hybrid workforce.

SHI hardware specialists can help you look closely at the individual roles in your workforce, understanding their exact needs and creating a device portfolio that is perfectly matched and cost effective, not to mention available in your desired timeframe.

You might even consider newer features like LTE-enabled devices, which can be ideal for staff that can’t rely on good quality broadband connections. SHI works with a broad portfolio of device manufacturers, so we are in the very best position to find the right solution for you.

3. Adopt Zero Touch Deployment to accelerate device rollouts

When it comes to getting reserved inventory or newly purchased devices into users’ hands, Zero Touch Deployment services dramatically simplify and accelerate the deployment and ongoing management of devices using direct-to-employee shipping and over-the-air provisioning.

SHI’s Zero Touch Deployment services work across all major platforms and device manufacturers, so you are not tied to one vendor or device type.

4. Look at modern desktop solutions to prolong the life of existing devices

If buying new devices isn’t viable – or you leave the decision too late and get caught by the predicted device shortage – one further option to consider is adopting a modern desktop approach using technologies such as VDI, hosted desktops, or even desktop as a service (DaaS).

One benefit of having the desktop and apps delivered remotely is that it puts less demand on the device itself, so older devices with limited processing power, memory, and disk space may be able to extend their useful life.

Some of these desktop solutions can be particularly beneficial for remote employees who need access to mission-critical apps and data. They can be a great choice for organizations that are also considering diversifying their device estate (see point #1 above) but want to ensure all users have a common desktop experience.

Don’t delay: Act today

It’s so important, we had to say it twice. The shortage in devices is not a threat or a future risk. It is a reality today and organizations cannot afford to wait to plan for how to overcome or cope with it.

That’s where SHI comes in. We are ready to work closely with you to explore the options above and more, like how IT Asset Management can help you form a plan, or how Cloud Readiness Assessments can help you explore new technology options.

To benefit from the skills and experience our teams have to offer, reach out to your SHI account rep today.