Are support contracts essential? Why should you consider purchasing support? How do you perceive the value of support services?
There are many reasons why support is a worthwhile investment…but mostly it comes down to an assessment of risk vs. cost.
What do I mean by this?
We can describe the product support value proposition as being based on four key elements:
- Mitigation of the impact of failures (i.e. minimizing productivity loss in your operations)
- Increased availability, improved uptime, stability and reliability (i.e. reduced risk)
- Achieving a greater return from your technology investment
- Internal cost savings or reduction in the total cost of support
Essentially the support investment gives you leverage should something go wrong. It is an insurance policy.
Hardware or software failure could result in downtime that is critical and negatively impacts your business. Without a support contract attached to valuable assets, your business could incurr exorbitant technical support fees and additional costs, while also facing the potential for significant loss in revenue. When you look at both sides, the risks far outweigh the initial cost of the support contract and it could potentially cost you a lot more in the long run. So investing in support is definitely worthwhile. Our recommendation is that no asset should go uncovered.
Recent research statistics from the Association of Support Professionals show that there are varied reasons for investing in support:
- 40% buy support for the product enhancements provided by the software developer or equipment manufacturer, whilst also enjoying the security of having the manufacturer or code writers providing support
- 35% buy support to achieve maximum uptime or high availability
- 25% buy support to avoid financial surprises (the insurance policy)
However, it is also important to acknowledge that increasingly, support purchases are not being viewed as just an insurance policy. Tangible value is expected from the investment.
What is your experience with support contracts?