You can pick up just about anything at one of the big box stores. These days, computers could be right around the corner from video games and a few aisles away from groceries, toys and office supplies. Because computer prices have dropped so far and it seems like every person in America owns one, the computer is often viewed as a commodity rather than a strategic asset.
“When you go to the store, pick up some light bulbs, diapers and a window fan. And if they’re on sale, I need a new computer for work.”
Yes, the high availability and low cost of computers have many Americans simply adding them to their shopping list like any other home or office necessity. Consumer-grade computers work just fine at home, and they may even be sufficient for certain employees at the office. But there are trade-offs when you use them at work.
For example, consumer-grade computers tend to lack the computing power that enables you to run multiple business applications simultaneously without performance issues. Consumer-grade computers typically haven’t been subjected to rigorous testing to ensure high durability and reliability. After all, the price is cheap because the components are cheap.
These computers often have short, bare-bones warranties and limited support and service options. Also, the software that comes with a consumer-grade computer is usually very basic and doesn’t have the advanced functionality you need in the workplace. Access to such features typically isn’t included in the license and might require an additional purchase.
When you invest in a business-grade computer, you’re investing in performance, reliability, support and service availability, and professional tools and software. Purchasing high-performance PCs also allows you to simplify IT management, maintenance, support and security by limiting the number of standard desktop and laptop configurations. New PCs can be provisioned and installed more quickly and inexpensively with less employee training and software testing. A smaller number of configurations also makes it easier to determine optimal refresh cycles and budget accordingly.
While nobody is waiting in line overnight to get their hands on the latest PC, there are devices that combine desktop and mobile features. Innovative new PC designs, or form factors, have emerged, such as laptops that have touchscreen capabilities and can be converted into tablet form. It’s worth evaluating these options as you refine your organization’s PC strategy.
It’s also important to remember the value that PCs bring to the table. Smartphones and tablets have transformed the communications landscape and enabled a more mobile workforce, but the PC is still the device of choice for getting work done. Despite longstanding predictions of its demise, the PC continues to offer more versatility, reliability and functionality for business operations. When it comes right down to it, the true advantage of mobile is exactly that – mobility.
Because PCs and laptops are still the primary endpoints in a business environment, it is important to have a sound strategy for selecting and managing these essential tools. Let SSD help you evaluate your existing fleet of computers, ensure that their capabilities are aligned and integrated with business processes, and develop a strategy that drives productivity and growth.