Picking the Best Business Computer: What Should You Look For?
Finding the best business computer will increase productivity and reduce long-term IT expenses. The best business computers will last at least 3 years with minimal issues, resulting in fewer calls to IT support, less money spent replacing hardware, and increased productivity. Make sure your team has the tools they need – spending slightly more upfront is a worthwhile investment.
First off, consider why you are thinking about buying a new computer. Is there a sale at the big box store that you want to take advantage of? If that’s the only reason, it might make sense to wait. But if staff members are complaining because they are spending too much time watching a loading bar go across the screen, it’s probably time. A slow computer can be aggravating, especially when you can’t work. In this case, run a virus scan and perform an overall clean-up of the computer. If that doesn’t speed things up, it is time to start shopping.
Another reason to invest is when employees heavily use personal computers. Accessing company data from outside devices creates increased risk for your business. Some offices have always run this way to save costs initially but the security concerns will substantially increase as your team grows. If a sudden transition to working from home has occurred (see: preparing for the coronavirus), maybe it’s time to buy laptops to replace office desktops. Investing in company-owned devices for your team is something you should strongly consider to decrease risk and increase overall reliability.
So what should you buy?
As mentioned above, the right device can easily have a lifespan of 2 – 3 years. We recommend the following specifications for the longest lifespan:
1) Chose a reliable brand.
This isn’t the time to buy a brand you haven’t heard of. Stick with Dell, Lenovo or HP. They are major names for a reason. Buying a Mac from Apple is also a good choice as long as the software your office uses is compatible.
2) Stick with business class.
This isn’t the time for an office supply or big box store. The best computer for your business grade device that is purchased directly through the manufacturer or a business-specific reseller. For long-term reliability, skip the store scale and buy the best business grade computer your business can afford.
3) Check out the specs.
The specifications of the device make a huge difference in performance and longevity. The best computer for business is one with (at minimum) the following features:
– Intel i5 processor
– At least 8 gigs of RAM
– Professional version of the operating system
– A solid state drive (if possible – increases reliability)
A cheap computer might be less expensive now but you should consider it to be disposable. It will result in lost productivity and higher IT costs down the road to cover ongoing support and the eventual replacement. Don’t leave your staff stranded with an unusable device or get stuck rebuilding a new computer every 9 months. Invest in the best business computer you can afford instead of throwing away money on a device that won’t hold up.
Other tips as you invest in new business computers:
– Don’t just get rid of the old devices. Keep a few on hand as back-ups in case an issue arises and someone needs a temporary computer.
– Choose 1 – 3 company standard computer configurations for future investments. There are likely a variety of different roles within your team. An engineer or designer will likely need a lot more “horse-power” (aka processing ability) than someone solely using Microsoft Word. Having a consistent approach to buying business computers will save time and money long-term.
– Keep track of hardware lifespans. A business grade device should have a lifespan of 2 – 3 years. Ideally your business should have an ongoing IT plan that notes each devices’ age and which portion of devices are due for an upgrade each year. In an ideal world, every year 1/3 of your business’ devices will be replaced. This can be implemented on an ongoing cycle replacing the oldest computers with high quality business devices. The eventual outcome: all of the computers within your business will stay within the recommended 3 year lifespan and you’ll have fewer unexpected IT costs.
– If your business is growing rapidly, it may make sense to have a few new devices on hand, pre-configured for new staff members. When you find the perfect hire, their computer will be ready to go.
Don’t be afraid to invest in the IT needs of your business. Spending a little extra now will lead to increased productivity, reduced IT support expenses, and, most importantly, make your staff feel valued.
Overseeing the IT needs of a business can be overwhelming. A good IT provider can help you buy the best business computers, develop a long-term strategic IT plan, troubleshoot user issues and make sure you have the tools you need to take your business to the next level. Onset Solutions is vendor neutral (we don’t take kickbacks from manufacturers) so any recommendations we make are based on the best interest of your business. Want to learn more? Click here to schedule a free consultation today.