Be aware of the pitfalls before you rush into buying cheap hardware

With budgets under remorseless pressure, containing IT spending is a key item on all IT directors’ agendas. But is buying imported kit from the so-called grey market, estimated to be worth £24bn worldwide, a wise option?

At first glance, it could look tempting. As Computer Weekly reported earlier this month, prices for “grey” Cisco networking kit could be up to 70% less than suppliers’ list prices. And since grey kit is not illegal, why pay more?

Industry experts have warned that buying hardware from the grey market poses a variety of risks, ranging from variable quality to counterfeit copies.

“The decision to buy grey goods can come back and bite you,” said Stephen Way, divisional IT manager at chemical company Johnson Matthey and vice-chairman of the IBM Computer Users’ Association. “The problem is you never know exactly what you will get.”

Continue reading…