Over the past 20 years, technology has become much more accessible and affordable. In all industries, business operations can rarely run without either PCs, laptops, smartphones and the associated software, or some combination of all. IT hardware is no longer exclusive to big corporations and companies. A solid hardware infrastructure and an up to date software strategy are crucial to ensuring a competitive advantage, no matter the size of your business.
The hardware landscape is shifting however. According to Wired Magazine, with the rise of smartphones and tablets, PCs are no longer the dominant business tool they once were. Businesses can utilise cloud computing services from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft for example, to build the systems they need without buying hardware.
Choosing the right hardware and software for your business can be quite challenging, due to the hundreds of options readily available in the market. Hardware and software procurement is a task that itself takes up a lot of time and resource. So what factors should you consider before making your choice? We provide some tips below:
The right set of IT tools can set your business up for growth and increased productivity. To help you select the best technology at the lowest possible cost for your business, consider the following:
- Is your current hardware and software infrastructure giving you positive results?
- Do you need to replace any of your existing hardware with a more efficient model?
- Will the acquisition of new hardware or software be a long-term investment?
- Is the soon-to-be-replaced hardware reusable elsewhere in your company?
- Will you use all the features of the hardware purchased, or are they merely gadgets?
- Have you considered the associated costs of training employees on how to use the new hardware and/or software?
Requirement by sector
What does your business truly need? If your business is solely digital, a digital design firm, for example, high-performance computers and state of the art industry software can increase productivity. If you are handling a great deal of company or client data, cloud backup tools or a virtualised desktop might be the best fit for you. Figure out what your business needs and address those needs accordingly.
Before deciding on what to buy, consider comprehensive market research. The right IT service provider will undertake this research for you, and will likely have strong partnerships with technology vendors to provide you with a solution to meet your needs. There are plenty of available options when it comes to hardware, with vendors offering similar features at different rates. It is down to you or your IT provider to navigate through the noise by undertaking research on the most useful and cost-effective solution in both the long and short-term.
Software vulnerabilities can be addressed faster than hardware vulnerabilities, and operating systems are updated regularly. As such, the software security industry is tipped to be worth $156bn in the next five years. On the other hand, hardware is at the mercy of microchips. Office equipment, like any appliance or piece of machinery, is subject to wear and tear. Your hardware will become less efficient over time. Old hard drives, memory sticks and disks all decay, and the resilience of your hardware choice must be considered, for efficiency but also security reasons – the longer a product has been on the market; the more time cyber-criminals have had to discover its vulnerabilities. Make sure your IT infrastructure is future-proofed for when your chosen hardware reaches its end-of-life date.
The hardware and software you use are the backbones of your business, therefore your IT infrastructure has to be efficient, reliable and secure. We maintain partnerships with the industry's leading IT vendors and distributors so that our clients can benefit from our close relationships and buying power. For support with your Hardware or Software procurement and management, contact us today.
We take care of your IT, so you can focus on running your business. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive outsourced IT support service or something more flexible, BTA can help. As industry-leading specialists in network security, business continuity, hardware and software provision, cloud computing and Internet services, BTA has been helping businesses gain a competitive edge through technology for more than 20 years. Call today on 020 8875 7676 to learn more and sign up for a free consultation.