How to Pick the Best IT Hardware and Software
It’s no secret that the right hardware and software can make or break your business, but it’s also not easy to know what you should be looking for. There are lots of options out there, and each one seems to offer its own set of benefits, but do you really need all that? Are there any things you should avoid? Here are some tips on how to pick the best IT hardware and software for your business and keep your information and your company safe and secure at the same time.
1. Choose your need
Before you can buy IT hardware, you need to determine what you need it for. Take into account how often you’ll use it, where it will be used (or installed), and who will be using it. If you’re buying software, take note of your needs—do they require a special OS? Will they run on multiple devices? Note any pre-existing issues or problems with your current system so that you know what specifically needs improvement. Then, ask yourself: do I want to purchase new items or upgrade my existing ones? For all systems, consider whether you want to buy standalone equipment or go for an all-in-one solution like a PC. Finally, write down everything and anything that might affect your decision: compatibility (with both existing tech and future tech), price range ($$$$), duration of performance (lifespan) and ease of use/maintenance/repair/returning if something goes wrong.
2. Determine your budget
Before you can choose which computer, laptop, tablet or printer is best for your business, you first need to determine your budget. Figure out exactly how much money you have available, then consider what you need for daily operations. Keep in mind that these purchases will likely last at least three years, so spend accordingly. Do your research before heading out to pick up any hardware so that you’re not purchasing something with features or capabilities that are unnecessary for your business. Additionally, most software comes with a free trial period, so be sure to check that out if price is holding you back. If using certain software isn’t possible without purchasing more expensive hardware or upgrades, don’t feel pressured into doing anything just because everyone else seems to be doing it. As long as everything functions properly and effectively within your company standards—and enhances productivity—it shouldn’t matter where or how it was acquired.
3. Compare products
The best way to pick an IT system is to take stock of what you need. Of course, every business has its own set of requirements—but most businesses would be better served by larger hardware/software platforms than by a bunch of little, disparate systems. If you’re trying to save money and buying multiple, stand-alone systems isn’t working for you, it might be time for a consolidation effort. In order to get started on that path, you have to figure out where your systems are breaking down. Start by asking yourself: What does my current infrastructure do well? What needs work? Asking yourself these questions will help you identify where there are gaps in your IT environment and lead you towards a more streamlined approach. It’s also worth noting that not all vendors will offer everything in one platform; for example, ERP software will likely be developed separately from CRM software—but they can integrate together effectively.
4. Read product reviews
Product reviews are a great way to gauge how well a product works for those who have already purchased it. It can also be an indicator of product value—what do people say is good about it, and what don’t they like? By seeing firsthand how a product performs on a real job site, you can make a more informed buying decision for your company. Taking time before committing to purchase anything new helps you avoid wasting money on items that won’t serve your business or employees well. If you decide to try out any item featured in a review, let us know how it goes!