No matter what industry your company operates in or how many employees you have, a basic fact of business is that your staff members will need computers to do their jobs. For some organizations, this may mean an investment in desktops to furnish their office space, or purchasing laptops to arm a mobile workforce. In any case, your organization will need to ensure that your staff members have the tools they require, and computers are a major piece of this puzzle.
When it comes time to make this decision, though, it's often easier said than done. Executives can't just purchase a bunch of computers, throw them onto desks and call it a day. There are numerous considerations to think about before making such an important investment, and there are a few key processes that must take place after the purchase is made.
Thankfully, the experts here at iT1 Source are here to help. Not only do we have partnerships with some of the largest technology and solution providers in the market today, but we also offer Professional Services – including configuring and imaging – to support your computer investment.
What to consider before you buy
In order to make the best and most informed decision – and to ensure a full return on investment – there are a few critical questions to answer before you buy a single machine:
- What activities will the computers be used for?
TechSoup pointed out that it's important to consider the kinds of tasks employees will engage in using the new computers. This can help decision-makers create a list of must-have features and capabilities that will assist them in choosing the best tools for staff members' needs. Some items to think about here include the specific types of software and applications employees will need, as well as specialized abilities their computers must have. Businesses that regularly host video conferencing, for example, will need machines with high-quality visual and audio capabilities.
- How will the new computers fit in with existing technology?
This is a key consideration for established businesses to make. Startups that may not have any existing technology in place, though, can think about how the new computers will fit in with their future investments.
Overall, TechSoup noted that other operating systems, applications, encryption and security standards, as well as any on-site storage, should be considered. It's important that the new computers are able to integrate with these essential items. Purchasing new Mac computers when the rest of the company leverages Windows-powered tools, for instance, may not be the best investment.
- Desktops or laptops: Where will the computers be used?
FitSmallBusiness noted that in addition to their existing tools and operating system preferences, decision-makers should also think about the mobility needs of their staffers. Employees who regularly travel, meet customers or partners or provide on-site training outside of the office will require a laptop. Workers who exclusively operate from their office, though, would likely do better with a desktop.
These days, many companies elect to purchase laptop computers to support a remote workforce. Desktops, on the other hand, offer their own advantages, including streamlined upgrades and lower costs.
- What brand best fits the business?
One of the final decisions to make here includes the brand of machine your company will use. It's helpful to use the answers to the above questions to help inform this choice. The specific features required by your workforce may be better supported by one brand versus another, for example.
It's also advantageous to take a look at current customer reviews. Dell and HP are some of the highest-reviewed computers available, and iT1 Source can help ensure you pick the right tools for your company.
I've bought my new office computers – now what?
Once your business has made an investment in new desktops or laptops, there are still a few important processes that need to take place. Not the least of these is imaging and configuring, which helps create a unified platform on each computer within the business.
"iT1 Source can help ensure you pick the right tools for your company."
Imaging and configuring starts with a golden image – this is a detailed layout that informs how each computer will be set up. From here, the IT team can leverage the golden image to ensure that each new computer is set up properly, has the right software in place and is properly secured.
While a critical part of the process, imaging and configuring your new computers is a time-intensive activity, and one that can take the focus away from other mission-critical technology initiatives. Before any employee can utilize his or her new computer, imaging and configuring must take place to help support your firm's unique specifications and standards. Operating a new computer without imaging and configuring can create considerable risks for the working health of the machine, as well as for your business overall.
This is where the skill and expertise of a third-party service provider like iT1 Source comes into play. Our knowledgeable consultants can complete imaging and configuring of your new fleet of computers, ensuring that your IT team is free to tackle other important business requirements. What's more, trusting our iT1 Source experts to complete this process for you also helps stiffen security and support scalability.