It may be time to bundle up.

Russ Levanway, CEO, Tektegrity

The air is brisk, the days are shorter, and the Sugar Plum Fairy will be dancing soon. But ho-ho-hold on! Before your thoughts turn to hot cocoa and holidays, there are a few things to think about.

Whether your IT network is ready for expansion, or your business is feeling the urgency of replacing obsolete equipment, this is a good time to invest in IT infrastructure. Your accountant may have other reasons, too, as year-end purchases are often recommended as tax-saving strategies.

Should old acquaintance be forgot: Adieu to XP and SBS2003

Microsoft’s April, 2014 end-of-support date for XP will be here before you know it. You can learn what that means for XP users here: http://www.tektegrity.com/news-and-articles/2013/05/03/an-xperience-to-remember/#more-125.

Also, in June we told you about the Small Business Server 2003 (SBS2003) end-of-support challenges many organizations will face as they consider software upgrades. You can read about it at http://www.tektegrity.com/news-and-articles/2013/06/04/the-new-or-the-tried-and-true/. If that article makes you cringe in anticipation of inevitable IT investments, you can ease the pain by taking advantage of year-end offerings.

If you’re considering upgrading equipment, let your IT professionals help. They’ll evaluate your needs and help you plan and execute a smooth transition. In addition to really knowing their stuff, they often have partnerships with manufacturers, allowing them to bring you attractive deals. For instance, TekTegrity’s clients are currently enjoying some nice savings due to our partnership with Dell.

If you’re facing either of these end-of-support situations, you can avoid the replacement rush and save some money on workstations as you invest your end-of-year reserves.

It’s lovely weather for an upgrade together, it’s true

Is it time for new servers, storage devices or network equipment? While some industries follow their own standards, our general recommendation is to replace workstations and laptops every three to five years and servers every four to five years, depending on your industry and the applications you run. When your machines are approaching the four-year mark, replacement, rather than further repairs or component upgrades, will keep your IT network off the naughty list.

Speaking of network hardware replacement, we just unwrapped some generous trade-in packages from Dell, but buyers will need to act quickly. Rumor has it that this offer will be gone before the snow melts.

Even if you don’t have a stocking full of cash, the end of the year offers some really good reasons, opportunities and financing options for technology upgrades. So don’t risk letting your IT equipment leave you in the cold this winter. Talk to your accountant and IT pros. They just might tell you it’s time to bundle up.

As 2013 draws to a close, we’d like to thank you for another great year. We appreciate the services you provide and are proud to be part of your community network. All of us at TekTegrity wish you and yours much happiness for the holidays and the upcoming year.

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Russ Levanway is the CEO of TekTegrity, an IT Managed Services Provider serving the Central Coast and Central Valley. The organization’s Total Systems Management™ (TSM) service model provides preventative IT support at fixed monthly fee levels. For more information, visit www.tektegrity.com.