As with cars, TVs or any other large, expensive outlay, you don’t have to own the technology in your organization. You can rent desktop machines, servers, networking equipment and just about anything else. And while you usually pay a bit more in the long run, some organizations find it easier from a purchasing and accounting viewpoint. Before you lease any technology, you need to take some time to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the decision.
What to Examine in a Lease Agreement
No one wants to get caught in a lease agreement that is too restrictive or too vague. We recommend that you download our tool, Examine a Lease Agreement. It offers a complete set of guidelines on what to look for and consider before you sign on the dotted line.
Stories from the Field
One of the advantages of doing the lease is that we have a consistent budget year to year to year, because one quarter of that lease is paid each year, so the budget is well planned and consistent.Thomas Edelblute
Anaheim Public Library, CA
Yes, being as technical as I am, I'd rather buy the machines. I hate the idea of not being able to, because I’ve talked to libraries [that] have done these leasing programs where the company comes in and puts a server in and puts in a bunch of same clients or something like that. But if there’s a problem, you’ve got to call them, and they’ve got to come out and fix it. So there are advantages to it. I could see if someone who doesn’t have someone in-house, like me, that would be a great way to go. Then you don’t have to worry about it; if it breaks, you call somebody, and they come out and fix it. But I’ve never considered the idea of leasing machines. I know that it used to be a big deal. I remember every time I’d go to buy a computer, they’d always be, like, ‘You could lease this today for $28.00 a month,’ or something like that. I never considered it.Matt Beckstrom
Lewis and Clark Library, MT
I have been talking to other libraries that lease computers, and that’s an option that I could be interested in looking at, but not in the current economy, because I could imagine leasing all of our machines and then not being able to renew the lease because we didn’t have the funding. At least if we buy the machines, we own them.Sia Stewart
Kingston Public Library, MA
Two YMCAs I work with each bought technology with a lease….In one instance involving a leased server, we had great difficulty closing the agreement and getting the equipment packed and ready to return in order to avoid lease-end buyout fees. The entailing phone tag and multiple emails caused us as much grief as being pushed to replace a server on the timetable dictated by the lease’s expiration date. Another lease problem I encountered concerned a photocopier; the person who set up the contract was no longer with the organization, and when the lease expired, no one knew to ask for a buyout option. As a result, the organization kept paying fees for an extra 18 months when the lease converted to a month-to-month agreement.Dave Welp
Information Technical Director, Scott Family YMCA
Shared Wisdom, Learning from Technology Mistakes
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