What the Best Computer on the Market Is (And How To Get One)
“What’s the best business computer on the market?”
This question, or variations, like “What’s the best laptop/smartphone for business out there” or “What’s the best business device and why?” are relatively common in the IT industry. Understandably, clients would ask for insights from IT consultants about one of the most fundamental aspects of their technology infrastructure. They’ve probably seen, hear, or read different things and would appreciate the guidance of someone immersed in business IT daily to help them make some sense of it all.
There are many ways to answer this question. But only one correct answer.
Many IT professionals will answer this question by sharing the exact make and model of the computers, which, in their honest opinion, they believe are the best on the market. They’ll cite you chapter and verse on why their pick is the best in terms of speed, performance, graphics, security, price, and other factors. They may even give you the strengths and weaknesses of others. But in the end, they’ll conclude with a strong argument that their chosen model is superior to all others.
Some IT professionals may name a model that is not objectively the highest performing model available but one for which they have a strong personal affinity. People, even IT professionals, develop a strong attachment to things. One day, you could ask the question to an IT consultant who’s reminiscing about a computer they recently modified and get a less than objective answer.
Still, others will sell you on specific models because, well, they’re trying to make a sale and can earn a commission if they’re persuasive enough. If you’re lucky, the computer they recommend or sell you will be alright, but it very well may not be.
No matter what model of computer an IT consultant names, they’re all wrong. Not only are they wrong, but most times, they can’t give you the correct answer.
The answer is this. Hands down, the best business computer on the market is the one best suited to your current needs and best positioned to support your future needs.
What does this mean?
It means that, unlike most personal purchases, it’s essential to think of a business computer primarily in terms of its utility. It is, in fact, a tool. A tool you and your staff will use to read and write, collect and manipulate data, analyze information, and perform other tasks in service to your business goals. And your best tool is the one that gets the job most effectively.
Evaluating the Best Right Now
When you evaluate business computers, you must start with what those goals are and the tasks needed to complete them to know what you need. For example, if your business goal is to build brand awareness, and you need to develop online video ads to do so, then you know you need a business computer that supports that task. A run-of-the-mill $200 laptop is not for you. And anything without fast RAM, a discrete graphics card, and a multicore processor probably falls out of the best category.
That’s why an IT consultant often can’t give you a correct answer. They don’t necessarily know enough yet about your current business needs, your workflows, your industry, and all the nuances that can and should shape your computer purchase. They can’t tell you what’s the best if they don’t know what you need.
So it would be best if you gave some thought to your concrete business needs. And you also need to understand the basics of your business’ IT infrastructure. While it’s easier than ever to implement a cross-platform network environment, you need to know, first whether your company has one, and second, any other potential compatibility issues or security vulnerabilities specific hardware and software applications may pose.
Too often, clients buy the most expensive and top-rated computers, devices, and software applications but then are frustrated when they’re incompatible with their current environment or else otherwise unsuitable for their needs. They then have to spend a lot of time and money either customizing or replacing these purchases (often souring them on IT in the process).
But when they stop and think about what they need first, they can identify the appropriate set of suitable alternatives. Then they can assess each for other critical criteria, like costs and optional features. By doing so, they can pick the very best computer for their business.
Forecasting Future Needs
However, when you evaluate your current business computing needs, don’t stop there. Business needs evolve, as do the tasks that accompany them. Computer technologies evolve as well, sometimes requiring new hardware solutions. While we can’t predict the future, we can consider what our future computing needs may be in our selection criteria.
For example, while we’re planning to use our new purchase to create online video ads now, we know that our marketing plan involves outsourcing most of our marketing to an agency in a year. This computer will be given to other staff for more general work. However, the business also plans to have an on-prem ERP system fully deployed around that time.
Will the computer you’re considering support your new ERP system? If not, can it be upgraded to support the new system inexpensively?
Often, IT managers and procurement specialists don’t have this information about a business’s future plans. However, it’s vital for those making purchasing decisions to evaluate a computer’s upgrade capacity. Too often, managers wind up having to retire computers long before their life-cycle has ended because these computers can neither perform the new work of the business nor be upgraded to do so.
When you have a business desktop or laptop that you’re still using years later despite one or more fundamental shifts in the nature of the work, you’ve got the right tool for your business. One might even say it’s the best computer available. But you can’t begin to identify it without knowing what you need now, evaluating what you’ll need in the future, and searching from there.
Even when you narrow the selection set accordingly, there remain a dizzying array of options out there. Working with an experienced IT firm like Rea & Associates Consulting can help you identify the right computing solution for your business. We work with an array of vendors and work with you to find the computers your business will need now and in the future. Contact us today to get started.