(BPT) - Whether your business is growing or needs a computer upgrade, you may feel overwhelmed by the choices in today’s marketplace. Because many small businesses are budget-conscious, you might think you’re saving money by opting for the least expensive PCs on the market, designed for the general consumer, and/or by waiting to upgrade as long as possible.
Here's why both those approaches could end up costing more.
Time is money
Most people agree that the longer it takes to accomplish something, the more expensive it is for your business. For this reason, both newer computers and PCs designed for business can save you and your employees time, especially when completing complex tasks or using several applications at once.
Small business owners surveyed in a study commissioned by Intel estimated that computers older than five years made their employees 29% less productive.1 Businesses need a newer PC with the ability to use several open applications simultaneously, hour after hour, every day. Depending on your business, you and your employees may need to handle complex tasks, from graphics and video editing to data-heavy spreadsheets and advanced analytics.
For the power and speed to manage complicated tasks, computers built for business will work more efficiently, because they often have more random access memory (RAM) and more powerful processors, such as Intel(R) 8th Gen Core(TM) i7 or i9. Business PCs offering a range of powerful CPUs plus capacity for more RAM are better equipped to handle a wide range of business tasks than consumer models.
Cybersecurity is essential
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to keep your data secure, especially sensitive customer information that they rely on you to safeguard. To keep data secure, businesses need the latest security features designed specifically for business purposes. Today’s business-class laptops often come with built-in security features, such as fingerprint readers. Many PCs built for business also ship with Windows Information Protection (WIP), which helps protect PCs against potential data leaks.2
Versatility is key
While consumer PCs may offer cost savings, business PCs are far more varied and adaptable. There are many more configurations and forms within each model line to choose from, so you can select what works best for your business needs, employees and space limitations.
Your business may prefer a full-sized tower with easy access to add or swap out components like more memory or storage, or upgraded graphics cards or additional ports, as necessary. Or you might need mini PCs like the Intel NUC, which has the power of a full-sized desktop in a form that can hide behind your monitor. For mobility and ease of use, your business might prefer traditional laptops, or a 2-in-1 that combines qualities of a laptop and a tablet.
For consumer PCs, ports might be limited in number and type, or product lines may be less varied. Even HP’s high-end consumer Envy line has just four models, compared to the 62 available configurations in that company’s business line, EliteBook.3
Business PCs are more reliable
From the materials they're made from to how they're built, business PCs are designed and tested to handle sustained operation and constant use. Modern PCs with Windows 10 Pro are designed to be reliable for business uses, and will likely last longer and handle more consistent usage than the average consumer market PC. Because PCs built for business are durable, they also typically offer longer warranties than their consumer counterparts, plus prioritized service.
While your initial outlay may be more for business PCs, it's likely that their better reliability and higher performance could result in a greater return on investment over their lifetime than a PC designed for the general consumer.
Shopping for business PCs takes time, so you can find the right features and configurations for your business needs. Start with a visit to your local retailer, or search online for PCs powered by Intel(R) 8th Gen Core(TM) i3/i5/i7 with Windows 10 Pro.
1“…Small business owners estimate older, slower computers (over five years old) can make employees 29% less productive” is based on a 2018 web-based survey, commissioned by Intel and conducted by J. Gold Associates, LLC., of 3,297 respondents from small business in 16 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA) to assess challenges and costs associated with deploying older PCs. For the full report, visit https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/business/small-business/sme-pc-study.html.
2Intel technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at http://support.intel.com.
3HP, “View All Business” laptops site, retrieved July 11, 2019.
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