How to decide which computers are right for your IT environment

How to decide which computers are right for your IT environment

After coming up with a rock solid process for purchasing computers, you still need to be able to make informed decisions regarding which computers to purchase!

Any good proposal to stakeholders will acknowledge the need for flexibility in the dynamic work environments of today.  A hybrid proposal that is prepared to take advantage of Desktops, Laptops, and tablets is the bare minimum for most innovative organizations.

Below is a breakdown of the three main types of computers that make up most IT environments.

Desktops

Desktops are the bread and butter of computers.  They have been around for decades and have stood the test of time as the go to for business computing solutions.  There are several reasons for this:

Cost

Desktops are pound for pound the cheapest computing option (outside of thin clients, but let’s save that for another day).  While technology has allowed us to significantly reduce the size of computers and the pieces that they are made of, there is still a premium on portable and sleek computers and their components.  This means that a desktop will be significantly more expensive than a laptop with equivalent specs.

Management

With the rising popularity of mobile devices in the work place, an increasingly visible perk of Desktops is their ease of management.  Like the name implies, Desktops stay at an employees assigned desk and generally do not move without your knowledge.  In addition, they are always connected to the network.  These two regularities allow desktops to be easily trackable.  Whether you are in the office or working from home, with these two constants, you are able to easily identify and access desktops as needed.  This simplifies the management process as you are able to access Desktops whenever you want (before or after hours of course).

  • Pros
    • Cheap
    • Sturdy
    • Easy to centrally to manage
  • Cons
    • Not always wi-fi capable
    • Immobile

Laptops

Laptops have surged as the go to computer in recent years.   With the demarcation between home and work growing increasingly blurry due to the normalization of the always online philosophy, laptops are essential in most workplaces today.  Thanks to tools like VPN, laptops allow for the controlled environment created at the office to be accessed from anywhere.  Even at the office, laptops make collaboration easier as employees can be productive from anywhere.  Having the freedom to take meeting minutes directly on the document it will be recorded on or working from a different part of the office provides productivity boosts that are unattainable with the traditional desktop.

Laptops are a bit more challenging to manage however as they are not as accessible as desktops.

As one cannot completely control the behavior of end-users, the freedom laptops allow employees tend to come at a cost in terms of management.  As they are not always connected to the internet, remote management is a bit more of a challenge than desktops.

  • Energy efficient
  • Portable
  • Cons
    • More expensive than Desktops
    • Challenge to manage

Tablets

Tablets are cheap, versatile computers that are being utilized for a multitude of different functions.  While they can’t serve as desktop replacements, they can be a useful addition to an IT environment.  From POS devices to mobile signature devices, tablets can play a crucial part in a hybrid IT environment.

  • Pros
    • Ultra-portable
    • Native touch screen
  • Cons
    • Lack processing power
    • Challenge to manage