Standardize Technology In Your Office
Standardizing your technology is a strategy that can help your businesses streamline its IT infrastructure, simplify your decision-making and minimize your purchase and maintenance costs. When you standardize technology in a typical office, it could mean that every computer uses the same operating system and hardware purchases are made in bulk, to ensure every PC is the same make and model.
Imposing these standards can make office life simpler, but the process itself can be complicated. So why standardize technology? The benefits are clear:
Reduces the burden on your staff. Each time you introduce a new piece of technology, your entire company faces a new learning curve, which reduces productivity. Since not all computers are the same, a slower processor may not be equipped to run your company’s internal software, resulting in slow running systems or crashing, further decreasing efficiency.
Reduces your IT cost. If you’re supporting four types of antivirus software in your company, each of those applications uses a different procedure for updating and patching. The troubleshooting, support skills and online resources for each application are also different, which increases the time and cost involved for your tech to solve the problem.
Reduces compatibility issues. It’s difficult to find replacement parts and match the right part with the right computer if you’re supporting 15 different models. Also, the more software and hardware you have, the more often you’ll encounter conflicts and errors that are hard to isolate and fix.
Improves communication. Finally, it’s hard for your IT staff to communicate with frontline employees about troubleshooting issues if there’s no standard. Neither side really knows what the other party is talking about. Another benefit of IT standardization is the training time, which can be cut in half for both IT and non IT staff.
How to standardize:
Buy in quantity. Dell, HP and other vendors change their models constantly, so the computer you buy this week is different from the one you bought last week even though the model number is exactly the same. It may have a different network card, a different hard drive or even a different motherboard. If an employee has an immediate need for a computer, try reusing your existing machines until you can put together a larger order. To roll your smaller purchases into larger purchases, focus your attention on planning and asset tracking.
Buy business models. When you’re buying new computers, look at the business models instead of the home models. Manufacturers like Dell, HP and others change the components in their business machines much less frequently. They might freeze your model for six or nine months, and when they do make a significant change, they’ll notify you in advance.
Plan ahead. As you put your technology plan together, speak with a broad cross-section of your employees and department heads to get a rough idea how many new staff members you can expect during the coming year. At this time you can also assess the needs of your clients or vendors. Keep in mind compliance changes to any regulation to which you must comply. From HIPAA to PCI, this is vital in today’s market.
Last but not least, do not hesitate to get advice. Just because a piece of equipment is expensive doesn’t mean it has everything your company needs in a computer. If you don’t currently have a hardware lifecycle plan in place, call K2 Tech today to learn more about how we can take the stress out of your IT!