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Does your business have a plan when the time comes to buy new computers?

Did you know the type of computer you purchase for your business can have a bigger impact than you realize? Does your business plan for these new computer purchases? Let me explain why this is important and can have such an impact and why having a plan will make the process of replacing a computer simple.

Here is a scenario that I encounter over and over, see if this seems familiar.

Over the years I have been working with my clients and the conversation will come up about needing to replace a computer due to one reason or another and they ask my recommendation on what computer to purchase. Many times, the client will have some systems in mind or maybe just some specific brands they have heard of. When I ask the client what they want the response I usually get is for a consumer grade computer.

Sound familiar? Are you thinking this may be how your business currently operates? I cannot say how you run your business is right or wrong and I would not. I do not like it when someone tells me how to run my own business.

There is nothing wrong with a consumer grade computer in general, but they are not designed for the needs of a business. I hear your objections to this as you may be using a consumer grade computer for your business and it may be just fine. Let me share what my decade plus of experience has taught me about using computers in a business.

Let me start by posing some questions. How long after buying your consumer grade computer do you begin to experience performance issues? Do you find your computers come with a lot of extra or unwanted software? What level of vendor support do you have for your computer? How long does the computer last before you need to replace it? Take a few minutes and really think about these questions.

As a business person you know time is money and if your computer cannot handle the workload then it is costing you time, and therefore money. Business demands are different from the demands of consumers. The tasks performed are different and you expect consistent performance from the computer. You also want to minimize distractions for you and your employees. Many consumer grade computers come pre-loaded with software and games, most of which are not business software. You will also want the operating system to have the business specific features built in, this is usually a Pro version of the OS and most consumer grade computers usually come with the Home version of the OS.

The other factor to look at is the support you receive from the vendor. Most consumer computers come with a basic warranty and limited support period and the support will be limited to phone/email support. If there is a physical issue you may have to send in your computer for repair as there will be no onsite support provided. You will have to ensure your data is backed up before sending in the computer and all sensitive data has been removed from the computer as you do not know who will be working on your computer and they could decide to look at the files on the system. You have no control in this situation! With a business class computer, you have the ability to get business level support. Depending on the vendor this could be a dedicated US based phone support team as well as next day onsite service, including replacement parts. Business support plans are usually multi-year plans.

Business class computers also tend to be built with sturdier components and will be able to handle more and will be more durable. A lot of consumer computers use more plastic for the case versus more metal for business computers. This isn’t always the case but in general I have found business grade computers to be more durable.

Knowing this are you more inclined to consider a business class computer for your business? What about your plan for purchasing new computers?

Did you know the cost of not replacing a computer when it gets too old or has too many issues can be more than buying a new computer? The cost of using the wrong type of computer will also be higher than using the proper type of computer. For my business I want to be sure any money spent will get me the best value possible and I’m 100% sure you want the same for your business. When it comes to planning your new computer purchases think about the following:

  1. How many issues have I had with the current computer and what has it cost the business in time and money?
  2. How old is the computer? It the performance of the computer getting worse as it ages?
  3. If the computer is not properly suited for the tasks of your business is it costing you and/or your employees to not be as productive?

The impact a computer can have on a business is more than just a financial cost. I hope this insight helps provide a better understanding of the importance of choosing the right computer and having a plan. One tip I want to share to help you plan effectively for your computer replacements, for laptops I have found the effective life will be about 3-4 years on average and for desktops 4-5 years on average.

This is just a brief overview of why businesses should opt to purchase business class computers. Every situation is unique, but I believe the ROI will speak for itself. This is especially true on the support side if you do not have your own IT support team.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please leave a comment or reach out to us.

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