Asking for the price of a new computer is like asking the price of a car. Although all cars have four wheels, a roof and an engine, the similarities stop there. With computers, as well as different brand names available, there are many combinations of different component specifications (e.g. processor speed, amount of memory).
Fortunately Computer Troubleshooters can help you translate the technical jargon, but there is a large non-computing side of the equation to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.
So how do you know if the money you are spending on technology is a wise investment? This month we look at some of the questions that drive the IT recommendations we make to our customers.
The current picture
We start by getting an understanding of the way your business currently runs. This includes factors like how many staff you have and what percentage of them rely heavily on a computer to perform their daily tasks. How many locations you have and how transient are your staff between locations or ‘on the road’? How is information currently stored and shared between people, considering both internal staff and the interaction between your customers and your business? Do your business processes rely on faxes or duplicate forms? How are your supply-chain relationships managed?
What frustrates your staff the most about their work? What do you feel is the biggest challenge holding your company back?
It’s important to get a clear picture of any issues so we can determine if a technology solution can help, or if it’s really an underlying business process problem. New technology won’t necessarily help if it’s not supported by a strong business driver, processes and staff education.
Your future plans
What is on the horizon for the next 12 months? 2 years? 5 years? Are you looking to significantly expand or decrease your operations? Are you thinking of selling your products on the Internet? Are there any major changes in your industry that you need to take into account (such as the impact of digital technology on businesses like camera film processing and traditional printing presses)?
A similar process can be undertaken if you are looking at technology for your home. What do you use your computer for now? Would you be happy with email and word processing, or do you have a teenager who would like to play the latest computer games?
This is a very brief overview of some of the puzzle pieces that we take into account when we make a technology recommendation. Once we have a clear picture of your needs, we can sift through the many options available and confidently recommend a solution that will fit your unique situation.
Think about the questions we have raised and talk to your local Computer Troubleshooter about the best technology solution for you.