What technology investments are on the horizon for your business in 2018? Odds are, desktop PCs aren’t a high priority. IDC has predicted that desktop PC sales will decrease by 2.7 percent in 2017, once the final tally is calculated. The research firm expects an even greater drop of 4 percent in 2018.
But even though organizations aren’t buying PCs, costs don’t go away. The total cost of ownership (TCO) of PCs can be substantial, and actually increase as machines get older.
Gartner Group is often credited with coining the term “total cost of ownership” in the late 1980s. When applied to IT, TCO is typically defined as the sum of the acquisition, implementation, management, support and use costs of technology. It acknowledges that purchase price is only one component, and often a very small component, of the cost of a device throughout its lifecycle.
Gartner’s original TCO analysis was designed to calculate how much the typical PC cost the typical enterprise. When the analyst firm came up with an initial value between $7,000 and $13,000 per user, IT and finance departments gasped.
Yes, PC hardware cost a lot more in those days than it does today. Now you can get a business-grade PC for under $1,000, with more power than a $3,000 machine would have had several years ago.
But what really adds up are the recurring expenses for staff, infrastructure and maintenance. PCs have to be installed and configured, and kept patched and updated to protect against security threats. There are software licenses, maintenance contracts and other add-ons. Support has to be provided, either formally through the IT department or informally when users attempt to solve problems on their own.
Streamlining the PC environment is the key to keeping these costs in check. Through proper planning, deployment and management, you can gain maximum functionality at minimum cost. Here are four strategies that can help keep a lid on TCO while improving productivity and reducing risk:
- Limit the number of PC models, operating systems and configurations by regularly refreshing desktop hardware. Use a standardized “gold image” to install applications based upon the end-user’s profile. This will simplify desktop rollouts, reduce support headaches and ensure that software licenses are purchased only as needed.
- Evaluate alternatives such as thin clients for end-users who only need access to the web and cloud-based applications. These devices are smaller, cheaper and use less power than traditional PCs, and don’t require as much care and feeding. IT is freed from installing and updating applications, and ensuring that data is protected on each and every desktop.
- For end-users who typically are mobile, consider whether a dedicated desktop PC is needed. A mobile device may be adequate for day-to-day computing tasks, with one or more shared PCs available for occasional use.
- Turn over administrative and troubleshooting tasks to a managed services provider such as SSD. Because of our streamlined processes and remote management tools, we can reduce the operational costs associated with your desktop environment while improving availability and alleviating headaches.
SSD’s Assurance program features simple, remote setup of workstations, user account management and unlimited end-user support. Let us help you analyze the TCO of your PCs and show you how Assurance can rein in the costs and management issues associated with the desktop environment.