When you are choosing laptops or desktops for your business, keep several things in mind. You need to get the most value for your money and they need to be capable of performing your basic business functions. Here are nine considerations for purchasing your business computers.
- Budgeting: How much do you wish to spend for your computers? Are you working on a shoestring budget? Are you more interested in software over hardware? How many staff members do you have? By answering these questions, you get an idea of how much you can spend per computer. This knowledge will make your purchasing decisions much easier.
- Laptops vs. desktops: What services does your company offer? Is your sales staff mostly mobile, while the rest of your employees are in the office? Are you a one person venture? While laptops are a great option for portability, they are expensive. Conversely, desktops are not portable but you can get higher quality machines.
- Software: Do you have a separate software budget? With what do your computers need to be equipped? Are you planning on purchasing your business applications or going strictly to open source solutions? Your computers need to have enough firepower to run the programs which will be running on them. If you have a graphics design firm, you will need better graphics cards in your machines than the drop shippers.
- Processing power: Your machines should be slightly better than the programs which they are running. You do not need to max out a machine which is using very little processing power, but you need to keep in mind that the computers might be later repurposed. Some businesses can afford to use recycled computers. Others need to have top of the line equipment.
- Don’t get the latest and greatest: Computer technology is advancing by leaps and bounds on a daily basis. Does your business truly need the most advanced system currently on the market? Do you want to purchase a machine which may be made obsolete tomorrow? A better bet would be to pick up something which is better than average and know that you will be upgrading within a couple of years.
- Backup options: Are your employees going to be sharing data? You need to consider options for backing up your data. Have you considered cloud computing? Do you need an external hard drive which can be easily moved from machine to machine? Will you be storing most of your data on the servers?
- Warranty: Warranties will replace parts in the event that they go bad. What sort of warranty will you receive once the sale is made? Examine the warranties that the manufacturers offer. Find out if your retailer offers a warranty. Warranties provide some coverage for the cost which you undertake.
- Technical support: While warranties replace parts, technical support prevents the escalation of problems within your machine. Can you turn to someone who will address difficulties? Will that technical support person guide you through potential pitfalls? Choose the amount of outside support based upon the expertise of your internal IT staff.
- Durability: Your laptops should be durable. Do your research to find long-lived laptops. Will they withstand the assault of many salesmen? Are the screens up to the task of being touched constantly? How long does the battery last? Are replacement parts readily available?
Finding the perfect computer relies on many factors. Combine budgeting concerns with technical support, warranty with durability and you have a foundation for finding the best business computer for your needs. Assure yourself that your specifications are met before you take your machines home.
This article is from James Adams, a writer who works for an office supplies store that specialises in office furniture for businesses. James writes about productivity and efficiency in business processes.