Technology offers businesses a greater variety of options than ever before. It offers new capabilities that can make offices more efficient and more cost effective. However, as many possibilities as technology provides that variety can itself create a challenge for businesses.
Deciding on the optimal time to buy new computer equipment for the office can be very difficult. Buying too soon might mean you miss out on the next development or a big price drop. Waiting means you are still using inefficient computers that could be costing your business.
The truth is, no matter when you buy you will always miss out on future developments. The trick is to make smart choices about what you buy now. You can choose equipment carefully to make sure that it will last, providing you value for money.
With your office’s future potential in mind here are some key features you should consider when purchasing new office equipment.
Flexibility and adaptability have always been important attributes for successful businesses. With constantly improving network infrastructure coming online employees will be able to work from a greater variety of locations.
Some workers may be able to work on the road, others will be able to work from home. Workers in remote offices can be in constant communication with head office. Mobility also allows office space to be freed up or for businesses to expand when space is limited.
With work taking place on a range of mobile devices including laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi connectivity is an essential feature for any portable computer. So that workers can easily share data between their different mobile devices Bluetooth functionality is a useful addition.
Bandwidth is likely to be important if mobile workers are heavily reliant on internet resources. This means you should consider the type of Wi-Fi capability a laptop has, is it 2.5Ghz or 5Ghz? For high bandwidth resources 5Ghz will mean you have that extra speed when you need it.
While 5GHz bandwidth is not available everywhere yet, Ethernet connectivity will provide workers with the necessary capacity in the mean-time.
While e-mail allows for instant and frequent communication it can make it difficult to maintain healthy business relationships with face to face contact occurring infrequently. Growing connectivity and improved network infrastructures mean high quality online video conferencing is already widely available.
Teleconferencing will bring the return of face to face communication. This allows for the building of stronger, trust based business relationships with fewer misunderstandings. It is also useful for staying in touch with remote or mobile workers.
To get the most out of teleconferencing you will need high bandwidth capability in the form of 5GHz Wi-Fi or Ethernet ports as well as high quality web cameras. Most modern laptops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones come with built in webcams.
The quality of the camera resolution will determine the quality of your video conferencing which can in turn determine how effective the call is. Make sure the webcam you select has an acceptable resolution. HD will be at least 1280 x 720 but ideally you will have 1920 x 1080.
While laptops provide great mobility and flexibility in the office they are not ideal for normal office use. They also provide fewer options for upgrading. Desktop PC’s provide greater capacity for hardware upgrades and configuration.
Where a company finds it is compiling large volumes of data, the ability to install additional hard drives in a PC is very useful. Another company might decide to take on an in house graphic or CAD designer. Installing a graphics card in an existing PC might be a more cost effective option to buying a new purpose built computer.
An office should have a good mix of desktop and laptop PCs to ensure the right levels of flexibility and adaptability. Other devices such as tablets provide their own unique benefits such as the ability to quickly and clearly display key data to clients or customers.
Consider the particular needs of your company and how different combinations of equipment have the potential to make your office more efficient and cost effective in the future.