How To Give Employees The PCs They Want

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Employees Want (and need) More

Remember the days when no one had a PC at work, let alone at home? When a few people punched cards into computing machines that occupied whole rooms? Probably not. These days, an employee might not go on vacation without half a dozen computers—laptop, a couple of tablets, phones (that are really computers), e-readers, smart watches, and so on.

Long ago, the bar for technology started being set in the home, not the workplace. This means IT departments must recognize that choosing computers is not merely about finding a sweet spot between cost and functionality.

Like it or not, the bar is set at:

  • Powerful
  • Functional
  • Easy to look at

It doesn’t matter whether you’re ordering desktops, laptops, or tablets. Your desk warriors don’t want to look at a beige box, and your road warriors don’t want to be embarrassed in front of clients or competitors. The evidence shows that employees will look for another job if they don’t think the IT in their current workplace is good enough.

What’s the answer for IT?

1. Think outside the old model

Conventional procurement methodologies had IT departments balancing cost and functionality. Today, you have permission to take a broader view of cost.

What will it cost the company if employee retention rates fall because employees won’t work on clunky, ugly devices? What will it cost the company if it can’t attract quality employees because they don’t want to work in a dated workplace? What are lost productivity costs from slow, outdated machines? Often times the lowest cost machine ends up costing more in the long run due to repairs and lost time spent loading applications.

2. Loosen the reins

Bring your own device (BYOD) policies create freedom (great for your employment brand) and, to an extent, put the ball back in the employee’s court. Think ours are ugly or clunky? Bring your own.

The technology to manage employee devices—selecting software, rolling out security features, and so on—is mature enough to create room for a policy that allows both parties to get what that they need. Plus the money your company saves in hardware can be invested in other areas to assist employees like security and higher quality software.

If you’re uncomfortable with BYOD, a choose-your-own-device approach is a solid alternative. Employees don’t get to bring their own device but they do get to choose from a range of devices curated by IT. There’s less freedom, yet there’s self-determination.

3. Shorten your cycle

Refreshing organizational IT every three to five years means falling behind quickly. Advances in computing are faster than they were when those cycles were set. That means productivity losses occur sooner. Going back to the question of cost, the cost of refreshing faster should be considered against the productivity gains that come with new hardware and employee retention.

Are Your PCs Helping Or Hurting You?

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Don't Give Up On The Desktop Yet

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The Desktop Is Not Dead

According to some, you would think all corporate employees can do their jobs on their smartphone or on a tablet at most. The thing is, there are still many business tasks that are best performed using a larger display, a more substantial keyboard, and more computing power than even the best mobile option can afford.

Unsung Flexibility On The Desktop

The capabilities of a traditional desktop computer can be found in a wide variety of packages that can fit an array of needs. Whether the task at hand would most benefit from a minimal footprint on the desk, minimum impact on the help desk or maximum performance, some variety of desktop personal computer can fit the bill.

"All-in-one" computers have been available for years, but they became more capable and flexible with the introduction of Windows 10. An all-in-one computer can be the platform of choice for applications that range from old-school enterprise green-screens to responsive HTML5 web-facing apps due to a combination of mix-and-match elements, such as:

  • A minimal footprint on the desk
  • Monitor sizes that can range from adequate to extravagant
  • I/O expansion capabilities through a variety of external ports
  • Touchscreen monitors
  • An operating system that can take advantage of all of the pieces

A Step Above “Thin Clients”

Minimum physical footprint and minimal hardware combine in compact systems that are a significant step above "thin clients" in capability, though not in size. These very small systems are ideal for situations in which the hardware will be embedded in furniture and the software embedded in a virtual server on the other end of the network.

Only the hardware required for user interaction will be visible, and the bulk of application processing will be done at the server. At the same time, these minimal PCs have local storage and processing, so application data can be kept at the endpoint as long as necessary. Also, application processing and data storage can continue even if network connectivity is lost.

Stepping Up To Workstations

The application processing and storage capabilities are ramped up in workstations that support the most demanding applications for workers in specialized tasks. These desktop (or desk-side) personal computers can boast multiple CPUs, each with multiple cores, and several terabytes of storage. For engineering and scientific applications, they are must-have platforms with capabilities that can't be matched by any laptop, tablet, or another handheld device.

There are certain employees and tasks for which a tablet or smartphone is the perfect computing platform. But for many business applications and users, a current-generation take on the traditional desktop workstation is still the preferred solution for bringing enterprise computing to the office. Current Technologies, through partnerships with Dell and other leading computer manufacturers, can analyze your businesses desktop related needs and provide you with the necessary equipment to maximize employee productivity and overall continuity. 

What Do You Use Desktops For?

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