• Laying the foundations of the digital enterprise: how to choose the right PCs for your staff

Before you decide on the PCs you need for your business, take a look at your day-to-day operations and long-term requirements. The functionality you require for each user as both their role and the business evolves, will determine the type of computers you should invest in today.

The digital office landscape is continually changing. Customers want a more efficient approach. So, think ahead.

Desktops versus laptops

In recent years, laptops have been gaining the upper hand, but desktops generally have a higher capacity. Desktops are still ideal for desk-bound employees, especially those who appreciate working with a big monitor. Many designers will prefer to use a desktop with a large screen attached, and would like something like the touch-screen Surface Studio and accompanying tools like the Dial and Pen.

Desktops can be a cost-effective option, as you gain a lot of power for – generally – less than the cost of a laptop. And, if you have a bigger budget, you can always combine the power of the desktop for office working with the mobility of a laptop for travelling. Cloud-based software like Office 365 will allow you to do this effectively.

Because of their lightweight size and mobility, laptops tend to be more expensive than desktops with equal capabilities. But, if your employees are frequent travellers; work from different locations, or from both home and office, then a laptop is the obvious choice.

Laptops are also ideal for employees who need to make presentations to clients. A laptop can be used by itself for desktop presentations or combined with a large screen for group presentations. This can help bring a sales pitch to life, or support monthly reporting for a client with visuals such as graphs. With customers, engagement needs to be more dynamic, visually stimulating and data-driven.

Combine the best of desktop and laptop

However, the digital landscape of the office has evolved rapidly in recent years. And the role of the traditional laptop has had to change too. Remote working is now commonplace for many employees. As well as mobility, people require desktop PC-level capabilities in order to access an increasing number of applications.

So, devices like the Microsoft Surface range now combine the capabilities of desktop PCs with the mobility of a laptop. Essentially, devices in the range offer a fully functional Windows PC with compact portability.

As Surface devices connect seamlessly with existing systems, other devices, and external accessories such as monitors, printers or speakers – they have the power to be your primary device.

At the same time, a device like the Surface Pro 6 has the flexibility to transform into three different configurations to adapt to how and where you’re working. For example, you can adjust the built-in kickstand and type cover to go from laptop to tablet to portable studio.

Match the hardware to the employee

Before deciding what type of hardware is best for your staff, consider which immediate requirements are likely to remain as long-term needs. These points should be your focus when purchasing hardware. Today’s employees generally need to be able to collaborate and communicate securely from wherever they work. They may also need to share files and exchange information with colleagues or departments based anywhere across the globe.

Fortunately, thanks to cloud technologies and collaborative software this isn’t as difficult as it sounds. For example, combining software such as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics with the latest Microsoft Surface devices, your employees always have the latest operating system that supports all the tools they need. 

In short, rather than looking at hardware as a standalone item, it pays to take a more comprehensive approach. Instead, look for a combined hardware and software solution that provides the complete digital package your users needBy taking this approach, you gain increased staff productivity and more value from your IT investment.

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