Post by Hunter Bonner

In today’s business world, things are certainly ever changing, and it seems by the very second.  A business needs to have reliable systems and processes in place in order to flow efficiently and with minimal downtime.  One thing that will hinder a business’ productivity is the lack of quality computer systems.  Having quality computer systems will keep that downtime to a minimum which means more productivity and profitability.

When looking at computer systems to purchase, it is very easy to just run out to Best Buy and purchase a laptop for $300.00.  That may be fine for your home, or a teenager, but is it right for a business?  The answer is a resounding "no", and here is why:  consumer laptops, by and large, are going to come with lower specifications when it comes to hard drive space, memory (RAM), and processor speed.  Also, the quality of parts inside is not going to be business class. 

With consumer model computers, you can expect to get about two years out of them before you start to have major trouble.  In my experience, that situation will usually come without warning in the form of the "blue screen of death", or worse (like the computer not even powering on, for instance).  Consumer type computers are not built to withstand the daily demands of a business user, who likely is going to be on that machine for 8 hours a day or more.  Therefore, using a computer with lower specifications and quality of hardware will result in the device wearing down that much faster. 

Going back to the term “business class” - what does that mean?  They are computers that are specifically manufactured for business use.  They come with the technical "innards" necessary to withstand the constant use and have the processing and memory power to run intense programs and the like.  Business class computers are designed to go past their lifespan of expected use and for good reason.  If you are a business with say 25 employees, do you want to replace all those computers at the same time?  Of course not -- the expense would be too great.  Having computers that will last for a long time, due to them being quality machines, will allow you to spread out the cost of future upgrades.  You can expect to get around three to four years out of a business class laptop if, well maintained.

So how does all of this tie into IT support?  The answer is, quality machines mean less time on the phone with Tech Support dealing with technical issues related to hardware.  Think about this for a moment, can you really afford to have your most critical systems running on cheap computers?  What would you do if that “bargain PC” you bought for your main ordering system were to crash to the point of not being able to recover the drive?  Can you afford to be down for hours, or possibly days? This is exactly where you will be if you go on the cheap versus spending a little more and going with business class machines.

Continuing on with Tech Support, if you bought a consumer model machine that you find out later does not have the “oomph” you need to get jobs done quickly, you may find yourself purchasing hardware and then you will need support to install it.  That means more downtime as well as less time being profitable and productive.  Also, you may find that you may spend more money upgrading a consumer model PC than it would have been to buy the business class computer.

So really in the long run, paying more for a quality machine now will save you tons in term of less downtime.  This of course does not mean you are not going to need support for various network related issues.  What it does mean is that you can rely on your computer to be fast enough and last long enough to spend your time on what you love to do as a business professional.

Nitie Atamenwan