Demystifying the True Cost of IT - Part Two: Why That Cheap Laptop Is Actually More Expensive.
In our last entry, we not so subtly took aim at predatory sales tactics which inflate the price of goods and services your business needs to run smoothly. Our hope is that you came away from that piece with more questions than answers, because when it comes down to cutting the check, feeling good about it or not falls squarely to you.
What does generally feel good is saving money. As we mentioned before, why would anyone spend $1500 on Laptop A when you can go down to the store and pick up Laptop B for $300?
"Why?" indeed, and that's exactly what we're going to cover in this second of a three-part series on the often times confusing cost of IT hardware and software.
So let's get right to it. Consumer hardware is by design very much different from Business hardware. The quality of the product is typically considered inferior, the warranty and support as well. If you haven't noticed, we're in a Throwaway Economy. Something doesn't work anymore? Throw it away and get a new one. After all, it was so cheap and you got a solid 6-8 months out of it, right? That's no accident.
In our personal lives, these gadgets are typically fun and small quality of life improvements. Nice to haves. We can justify the replacement of these on those short life cycles because that's what we've come to expect. But what about your business? How often can you afford to:
A.) Have your device fail and bring your workflow to a halt?
B.) Replace the devices that your business runs on?
So what do you get for that $1500 price tag on Laptop B? For starters, options.
Business class hardware comes with an entirely different set of features to it. Aside from premier warranty support, often times with next or even same-day repair and replacement, you get better quality components that help avoid that scenario to begin with. They're also designed for business. There's a world of difference between the computing power it takes to run complex operations and communications with work resources than it does to check facebook, and we're sure you can guess which laptop in this scenario struggles where.
The next thing to consider which is just as much a factor as performance is software, and in particular, the operating system. You could say both machines run Windows, and that would be true, but Laptop A runs Windows 10 Home Edition while Laptop B runs Windows 10 Pro.
OK, so what's the difference? For browsing facebook? Nothing. For almost everything else that should matter to your business? Everything.
Essentially every feature included in Pro that isn't included in Home Edition is what modern businesses need to meet compliance standards, industry regulations, data protection measures, and enhanced functionality specifically for corporate use. Our goal isn't to bore you with the details here, but suffice to say that it's an extremely common tale to hear of a business spending absurd amounts of money on licensing fees to upgrade their version of Windows to support their needs, while still being handicapped with consumer grade hardware.
You can take this information and apply it to almost everything else IT related in your organization. There's typically a good reason why these products are configured the way they are, and as such, priced the way they are. Figuring out which products and services are right for you all comes back to making sure you have a trusted partner to work with and find the right fit your needs, and your budget.
If ever you're faced with the question "Can we afford to buy this?", make sure you're also asking if you can afford not to, because cutting corners on the tools your business needs to make money always comes back around, with interest.
-Helios Cloud Solutions