IT hacks: The Simple Guide to Purchasing Computers

IT hacks: The Simple Guide to Purchasing Computers

It’s your first day on the job as the IT manager at this awesome organization that has experienced tremendous growth in the past year.  HR sends a new employee request for Dave who needs a new computer.  You ask how computers have been purchased in the past… crickets.  You ask what kind of computer he needs… crickets.  So where does one begin?

In order to ensure that you are not stuck scratching your head for the next few months every time you receive a request for a new computer, you need to come up with a game plan to simplify this process.  The best game plan can be broken down into two phases, the assessment period and the standardization process.

The Assessment Period

You are new to this organization and need to start making informed decisions as soon as possible.  First and foremost, some introspection is required to set things up for a smooth computer procurement process moving forward.  Assessing the three areas below are essential in deciding what computers make the most sense for your organization.

  1. Infrastructure

An organization is more likely to be renting out a space that was built more than 10 years ago, instead of working out of a dream building that was designed with IT optimization in mind.  What this means is that there are often infrastructural barriers that affect computers differently that need to be considered.

From old walls that wreak havoc to Wi-Fi, to infrastructures that make it an expensive nightmare to wire new ethernet drops, there are many factors to consider.  The bottom line is that your existing physical infrastructure serves as your canvas to build out your IT infrastructure and knowing it’s unique properties will provide an important guide in determining which computer type is right for you.

  1. Budget

If you are among the few unicorns with unlimited budgets for computers and operational expenses, cheers.  For the rest of us, it is important to understand budget allocations.  Knowing how much you are able to spend can actually be a good thing sometimes as it provides guidelines that make it easy to create a standardized process. Armed with a budget, you can limit yourself to choosing the best computer you can afford.

  1. Personnel

Who are your end users?  What are their needs and current pains?  How is the organization structured?  These are all questions with answers that will provide tremendous insight as you create a plan to effectively purchase computers that will allow your coworkers to be their most productive selves.

Each department has unique needs.  You will also be working closely with other departments to purchase computers so understanding their needs and workflow will give you more insight in designing a computer request system that works for all involved.

The Standardization Process

After assessing your infrastructure, budget and personnel, it is time for the fun stuff.  As much fun as it is shopping for new computers, standardization is a must if you want to be efficient.  This process can be broken down into two key pieces.

  1. Vendor Management

Deciding on a vendor is a critical piece of a solid standardized ordering process.  Armed with the information procured from the assessment, you need to search for a vendor that will be able to meet all current and prospective needs.  Most vendors today offer different models and grades of computers to meet the ever-changing demand of businesses.

Being able to build a relationship with a single vendor will offer huge benefits from significant discounts and speedier device maintenance that translate into significant cost-savings over the long term.

  1. Order Standardization

With the vendor decided, it is time to make life simple for yourself moving forward.  With the information gathered from the personnel assessment, you should be able to create a system that categorizes computers into at least three groups.

  • Tier 1

This is your stock machine.  Powerful enough to handle the workload of the average employee as well as all necessary security & monitoring software.

  • Tier 2

This is an upgraded machine, boasting more RAM and processing power.  Reserved for employees that require more power in their day to day work such as accountants, database administrators, etc

  • Tier 3

Besides for upgraded processing power compared to Tier 1, this machine can have other features depending on the computer type.  A laptop for example could be very powerful while boasting a lightweight design and superior battery life.  This Tier is best reserved for executives that require more power or software developers & graphic designers that tend to work on the go but can’t sacrifice power.

Whether you can count the few desktops you manage or one hand or you oversee an environment that utilizes laptops, desktops, and tablets, standardization will make your computer procurement and deployment process more efficient!

Alpen Technology Group offers a wide range of IT Services, Business solutions, and consulting in Greater Sacramento. Our team offers comprehensive IT solutions for business and Non-Profit entities. Growing your business requires technology that works for you, not against you. We’ve been providing businesses with the latest technology solutions and outstanding support for over 10 years. Give us a call to see how Alpen Technology Group can help improve your business!