Assessing hardware and software needs for your business should involve more than just taking a trip to your local computer retailer and talking to the person on the sales floor that day. To choose the right hardware and software for your business, you need to know that all computers are not created equal. Software for businesses is more likely to have what you need to run your company than software designed for home use.
Consider why you should forego a trip to the store with the blue-shirted employees. And instead, talk to someone who can help you get what you need.
Reviewing hardware options
Maybe you’ve been able to make do so far with a laptop or desktop computer you purchased at a big box store. But are recognizing that maybe this isn’t going to get the job done anymore. Perhaps you’ve added employees or must now accomplish tasks that your old technology no longer supports. So, what should you look for instead?
It’s important, first of all, to understand that not all computers are the same. Hardware sold for personal or family use is built for PRICE first and FEATURE second. This is to be more attractive to the average buyer who’s likely purchasing the equipment for pleasure or schoolwork. As such, the quality of the components will be slower than their commercial-grade counterparts. This is not ideal for business users.
Let’s look more closely at the differences.
1. A professional operating system
– Your consumer-grade PC will include a “home” version of whatever operating system is installed. It may not be designed to function on a network. For example, it may not be able to integrate with servers or have the necessary features for keeping your computer safe. These features are paramount in the business world.
2. Higher-quality components
– Longevity and reliability are essential in a quality business computer. Don’t settle for a consumer gaming computer or something even less reliable. Even though you’ll pay less in the beginning, it’ll wind up costing you more. These cheaper computers will likely need to be replaced sooner rather than later.
– Business hardware should be designed to accommodate a company’s future needs, not just today’s essentials. That means your computer(s) should be upgradeable and that upgrades should be simple and not super expensive.
– It’s likely that your commercial-grade computer will come with a better warranty than what you’d get from the average home computer, for which the warranty generally ranges from 90 days to a year.
If you’re unsure how to locate the hardware you need, an IT specialist can help you put the right pieces together, ensuring that your hardware is sufficient and your data is secure.
When considering software for your company, keeping the same things in mind is important.
Businesses require the business version of today’s most popular software. Home versions are not licensed for businesses, nor will they likely have the features you need to run your business.
Business software is designed to help you accomplish specific goals associated with your type of business. It may help with customer relations management, sales force support, supply chain management, human resource management, procurement, data mining, document management, employee scheduling, and much more.
But be careful in making your choice as some inexpensive programs are labeled as “business use” but may not be as comprehensive as software truly designed for businesses.
Remember, good business software helps streamline processes or tasks and saves companies money in the long run. So, spending a little more at the start is often a wise decision, as having the right software will save money on employee hours and increase your bottom-line profits.
At Stillwater IT, we’re familiar with the highest quality business hardware and software for your needs. We’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss your business and what might fit best for your tasks at hand as well as your budget. To set up an initial consultation, call us at 604-899-1105.