When you are just starting your business, you have to make a lot of decisions, but none are as important as the sort of hardware you will need going forward. Making the wrong decisions and purchasing inappropriate hardware can be expensive and will give a bad user experience.
Hardware essentially covers any IT equipment such as servers, PCs, laptops, docking stations, routers, switches, desk handsets, MFP (Multi Functional Printers) and audio-visual equipment. Making The Right Decision Here are three questions you need to think about in order to guide hardware purchase.
1) Understand your business. This may seem straightforward as surely you know your business better than anyone else. But do you understand users’ computing requirements? How many users will you have? What will they need to do in the virtual world? Do they all have the same requirements? Will they be working remotely? Will they be office based? Will they be video conferencing? What business critical applications will use more memory or processing power?
2) Business projection. Although all companies are looking to grow and expand you need to have an understanding of how this will affect the hardware that you purchase. While it is useful to try to futureproof your hardware purchasing, there is little point in buying too much in advance as hardware is always updating.
3) Market research. Before purchasing any hardware, it is important to understand the industry, review products, analyse different capabilities as well as potential future advancements – think of all those people who bought mini-discs. They were defunct before the first disc had finished playing. So, once you understand the computing requirements of your business you can make an informed decision as to how many desktops or PCs you need to buy for example. Is it necessary for everyone to have a desktop PC, when a laptop is more appropriate? Is it necessary for every user to have two (or three) monitors? How many MFPs do you need, and how much do you print?
Such ruminations will also lead to discussions about whether it is necessary to have an in-company server or should you rely on “the Cloud”. If you think that your company may be fluid and change structure quickly, you may decide that purchasing expensive in-house hardware is not practical and you may lean more heavily on Cloud based services and Software As A Service (SAAS).
Obviously, the main cost of poor decisions when it comes to hardware is financial but it can also slow your productivity down. You could be left with a lot of equipment that;
1) You don’t need – like excessive numbers of laptops or desk phones that no one uses.
2) Doesn’t serve the needs of your business – either not having enough capabilities or the users are hampered.
3) Is not compatible with the software or applications that you require to run your business.
4) Is out-dated and needs to be replaced shortly after the original purchase – this is where good market research is key ensuring what you are buying is not being phased out. Choosing the right hardware is not a decision which should be done off the cuff, or without suitable research and advice.
If you are considering new business hardware, why not give Bongo IT a call and we can offer industry specific advice and find a solution that will delight you and your users.
Thank you for reading. Check out our other blog posts to find more helpful tips.
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At Bongo IT, we know that technology is increasingly dominant and crucial to maintaining business performance and productivity.
Organisations should make sure they are making the right IT decisions for their current needs, whilst also planning for the future with flexible and scalable solutions.
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