Regardless of your business’s sector or niche, IT hardware will likely form the backbone of your operation. It is through the use of various hardware solutions that you and your staff go about your daily work and keep the business both running and growing.
What hardware you invest in, therefore, and what choices you make when purchasing hardware are crucial to your firm’s efficiency and productivity. It is with that in mind that we have put together this guide to the essential hardware for any small business. We will run down the most vital hardware solutions that you simply can’t do without and offer some helpful advice and guidance when it comes to which products you may wish to place your trust in.
PCs, Laptops and Workstations
The most fundamental and invaluable hardware item of all, no business can do without computers or workstations through which all staff can complete their day to day tasks. In this area there are a number of key decisions which businesses must make when selecting their products of choice.
Firstly, there is a choice to be made between traditional desktop PCs or laptops and other more portable solutions. PCs are likely to offer greater processing power, memory and other similar advantages. Laptops, notebooks and the like, meanwhile, open up new possibilities for portability and remote working.
When selecting business workstations, too, it is important to consider that your chosen products will likely be with you for a number of years. Paying a little more for products from higher end manufacturers or which run more modern operating systems, therefore, can prove far more cost-efficient in the long run.
Wi-Fi Routers and Associated Hardware
Aside from PCs and workstations, there are few products which can be more aptly described as essential hardware than Wi-Fi routers and other internet related solutions. A modern business simply cannot function if it can’t get online and the more reliable and faster their internet connection, the more efficient and productive their workforce can be.
As well as reliable Wi-Fi routers or Ethernet equipment, therefore, other related hardware can also be crucial to a small business. This might mean something as simple as a Wi-Fi range extender or signal booster, or a more bespoke solution involving network switches, cabling and other Ethernet elements. Either way, hardware which can improve internet connectivity can be invaluable to any company.
Whilst email and cloud solutions have somewhat diminished the necessity for printing in many businesses, there are few which can ever be truly paperless. At some stage or another, all firms will find themselves needing a hard copy of a contract, physical marketing material or any number of other possible documents.
Investing in a good quality LaserJet printer with scanning and photocopying capability, therefore, is just good sense. Spending a little more on this essential hardware solution is advisable too, as a slow or unreliable printer can have a surprisingly large and adverse impact upon productivity in any office or workspace.
All small businesses require some form of server solution so that they can build a network, support databases, email applications and other files and offer security and backup options. Whilst a network server would until recently have been very much considered essential hardware, however, the landscape has changed somewhat.
Now, the major decision for any business in this area is whether to opt for a physical network server or to choose a wholly or partially cloud based solution. Each alternative has its pros and cons which make it more suitable for some businesses than others and considerations like budget must always be taken into account. Whether you opt for a physical, hardware based server solution or decide that cloud computing is the way to go, however, make sure that you find the most efficient and reliable solution possible.
The above whistle-stop guide to essential hardware should put you on the right track but for more bespoke and in-depth hardware support, you can get in touch with Mustard IT today.