In order to recommend a computer system for a given business purpose you need to determine who will be using the system and for what purposes. You also need to know what the budget is, what (if any) technical specifications or requirements need to be met and it’s also useful to know if there is a deadline the system needs to be in place by.
When coming up with recommendations, it’s useful to display all of your assumptions and findings in a clear and concise format. For example, coming up with a weighted scoring model would make it easy for people to see at a glance how you’ve arrived at your recommendation. A breakdown of all necessary components with brief descriptions of the component and why they’re needed along with prices and warranty information would also be useful. More considerations for selection are outlined below…
There’s no point in recommending a fleet of Macbook Pros at £1,000 each if the business budget is £500 per machine. Knowing the budget up front helps to save time and energy as it allows you to focus on components and systems that fall within that budget.
If users of a system will be graphics design and video editing professionals, this will have a huge influence over the technical requirements necessary for the computer system. It will also impact on budget and these users not only need powerful tools but may also need expensive software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator & After Effects or Final Cut Pro. This software may require a minimum standard of processor to run smoothly such as an Intel i7 with at least 4GB of RAM. The total cost of both the hardware and the software combined must stay within the agreed budget. If the user isn’t tech savvy and require training in order to use the system, that can also impact on the budget or increase the complexity involved in recommending a system.
Most desktop computers come with standard ethernet ports and network cards. An increasing number of laptops however only have wi-fi built in, meaning that connecting to a cabled network isn’t an option. In a large space where the wi-fi signal can be weak in certain areas, that could pose problems for laptop users. Similarly, if a network has shared printers and scanners, they may not be accessible via the wi-fi network. In these cases more hotspots or additional hardware may be required to get all devices communicating.
If a company has no on-site support or technical staff, a maintenance contract (also known as a service level agreement) may be required in order for the computer system/s be to kept up to date and checked for any hardware or software problems. When buying systems in bulk, these contracts are often supplied or offered by a manufacturer for a fixed number of months or years. The level of service support and warranty available should definitely be taken in to consideration when choosing a system as it offers the business peace of mind that if something goes wrong, it will be replaced or fixed for free within a certain time period.
Depending on user requirements and existing hardware and peripheral devices, a computer system may need VGA, HDMI, DVI display output ports along with firewire ports, usb 3.0 ports, line-in, mic ports etc… some or all of these may be necessary if you need to integrate existing hardware and accessories with the new system.
In a media company that does a lot of 3D rendering and video editing, a lot of processing power is needed in order to calculate, process and render data quickly. A receptionist working with Microsoft word, Excel and just accessing email in a web browser doesn’t need the same level of power and graphics rendering capabilities.
These days a lot of data is stored in the cloud for convenience as it means users can access the data from any machine, anywhere in the world. As a result, hard drive storage space has become less important that it once was however if the network is slow or unreliable, it may not be practical to use cloud storage therefore a large local hard disk drive may be the preferred option. If data is only stored a local machine, backing up data regularly becomes important and that can also result in hard drive space being used up quickly.