Business hardware such as computers, data storage devices and software packages are meant to make running your business easier. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The lists and questions below will help you choose between the huge range of technologies and configurations to achieve your business goals.
For any piece of hardware or software that you are looking to purchase – create a list of the features you’d like it to have and separate it into two categories – ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’. You can list this in your marketing plan.
Your ‘must have’ list should be short and outline the features that are absolutely necessary for your business. This ‘must have’ list will align with your digital strategy. The ‘nice to have’ list can be much broader and features should be listed in order of importance, encompassing all of the capabilities that will make running your business easier.
Here are some general questions to ask yourself:
Consider the Cloud
Business technology changes all the time. While it’s not always good advice to get the ‘next best thing’, the well-established trend to ‘cloud computing’ is something you could consider when making your list. Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the internet such as infrastructure, platforms and software. Cloud computing normally includes:
When trying to find the best fit for your business, it’s important you ask yourself the right questions, so here are a few to consider:
To ensure that you don’t overspend, set a firm budget and allow for other expenses such as additional software, accessories, training, support and extended warranties.
Now that you have your ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’ lists and a clear budget – it’s time to reduce your options. Go through your product list and eliminate items that lack features or are too expensive. Come up with three or four products that are a good fit by looking for:
From the remaining options, determine which products deliver the most features from your ‘nice to have’ list. Are there add-ons that you can purchase at a later date as you need them?
Now that you have a just a handful of products left to evaluate, it’s time to see them in action. If possible, visit your local store or supplier and ask to see the products in question.
Here are some general questions to ask the salesperson:
By the end of this process you should whittled your list down to two or three products.
If you have staff who will use the hardware, now is a great time to get their feedback.
This will also help when it comes to implementing the new hardware – if you have asked for their feedback early on, they will be much more receptive to the change.
Ask for their thoughts and feelings regarding:
You should now be in a solid position to make a final decision.
Contact support@weloveIT.co.za for any advice or procurement needs