Budgeting for an IT desktop refresh or a new computer is often a hit and miss affair for many companies. In most cases, purchase decisions are made due to defined budgets and easy IT policies as opposed to real-world business needs. This can have a significant impact on businesses productivity and profitability, but this fact is often overlooked.
This is especially true if a company has invested in computer-aided design solutions as part of their software portfolio. The users of this software will generally need an adequately configured CAD workstation. Yet, they are often the biggest victims of the global policy and budget led lottery, which is unbelievable. These users are often responsible indirectly or directly for the profitability of a company.
It is effortless to apply a blanket policy to a business’s IT requirements and as often is the case this rule is used without any forethought. Equally, this is also an easy option for an internal IT team or external contractor, so the easy path is often taken without any care of the businesses real-world needs. So why should this particular group of users be treated any differently to any other, and why do you need to take the time to understand their requirements fully?
Typically you need to consider the tools they use to perform their jobs and their role within the business. For example, let’s consider product development as one case in point.
A business involved in product design and retail sales will as best practice strive to develop a profitable, cost-effective product in the shortest possible time frame, They will be well aware that short product design cycles and delivering products to market first or faster than their competitors can be the difference between surviving and making massive profits in today’s global economy.
The business will probably have invested in expensive computer-aided design technology and highly salaried staff to achieve the above goals. Still, even given a company’s best intentions, there is often a weak force in play, usually the companies’ very own global IT policy!
Whilst every company employee is a valuable asset to the business their IT needs will be dramatically different as there is a world of difference between the computer requirements of an office worker typically using generic office applications and a product designer in the example above.
An office worker can pretty much make use of any computer on the market and be equally productive. In contrast, a product designer will need a much better-specified system called a CAD workstation, a certified graphics card, a suitable processor for the CAD software they use, 64-bit operating system, large amounts of ram, and so on.
Expecting this user to meet the companies goals if they are subject to an IT policy that dictates they have the same computer hardware as their office worker counterparts is a bit like employing a racing driver and expecting them to win a formula race whilst driving a family saloon. The same can also be said to buy a CAD workstation or mobile workstation on a restrictive budget.
The call to action here is quite simple. Invest in the right computer hardware for the company’s business needs and recognize that not all users’ requirements are the same. And do not apply restrictive budgets for key users requiring CAD workstations as this could at best cost your business weeks a year in lost productivity. At worst could result in lower profits due to projects being late or slow to market.