What to consider when selecting a computer for your business
When it comes to choosing the right computer for your business, one of the most important things you need to understand is that there is no blanket “right or wrong, one size fits all” answer to this situation. There is only a right or a wrong answer for your business, for your goals and for exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish. By looking at the situation from a few different angles, you can make the best possible investment with your money and leverage the power of modern technology to your advantage.
Mac vs. PC: A Question of Intent
When you sit down to try to decide which computer is the right one for your business, one of the first decisions you will have to make comes down to platform. Mac computers and PCs running Windows both have their fair share of advantages and like with most things, it will all come down to the right choice for you and your team.
Are you running a graphic design firm or some other type of entirely digital enterprise where you need powerful editing and stability above all else? If so, you will likely want to go with a Mac – it’s essentially become the standard in a number of creative industries over the years, including anything that does extensive work with video and photos. Fashion labels, architecture firms and more would also be examples of businesses that would be suited for Mac hardware. Businesses like accountancies, law firms, consultancy agencies and engineering firms, on the other hand, would be better suited for PC hardware.
It's important to note that this may be less and less of an issue as time goes on. Programming advances have allowed most PCs and Macs to run the same software, although it can be difficult moving files from one platform to another due to underlying operating system differences. As software increasingly becomes cloud-based via software-as-a-service and other third party providers, this will also further decrease the importance of this decision in the future.
Make a List of Your NEEDS Versus Your WANTS
If you really want to make sure that you are buying the right computer for your business, you’ll want to begin by making a list of everything you NEED out of your equipment. Make a list of the important business challenges that you’re trying to solve by way of a computer. Then, make a separate list of the things that you’d LIKE to be able to do but that aren’t necessarily mission-critical.
Let the first list of needs dictate some of the decisions you make regarding hardware. First, consider how much processing power you will need to invest in as this will dictate the types of tasks users will be able to undertake. If you only need to complete simple word processing, for example, you don't need to max out your computer's central processing unit. If you need to do heavy rendering, on the other hand, you will need to invest in a much more powerful CPU than what comes standard in most machines.
You will also want to consider things like how easy a machine is to upgrade over time. Most PCs are very easy to upgrade on your own, whereas most Mac computers can no longer be upgraded after the time of purchase. Other important factors to consider include the length of the warranty, the service level agreement (which dictates the type of support you'll be able to receive from your original equipment manufacturer) and more.
Trust Your Experts
When choosing the right computer to fit your needs, one of the most important resources you have available to you is your own internal IT department. If it isn't already standard protocol to work closely with your internal IT team (or if your business does not have one), consider enlisting the help of an external IT expert or solutions company. They will be able to work closely with you to deliver a solution that meets your business requirements, all while staying within your target budget at the same time. If you have any questions at all regarding what decision you should make, these people will be invaluable - it is what they are here for.