The time is ripe for a PC refresh: How to choose the right device

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Everyone knows the importance of matching the right device to the right job. But it’s never been more crucial.

Organizations have experienced a surge of remote workers, many of them relying heavily on personal devices and home networks to get by. At the same time, businesses had to quickly enact measures to secure their networks and manage the influx of outside devices, while also ensuring employees could work efficiently and productively.

In this new hybrid work environment, workers want to maintain their productivity and flexibility anywhere, anytime, and on any device. IT staffs must be able to deploy and manage remote devices, maintain security, and return nonfunctioning systems to service. And organizations need to provide modern technology tools to recruit and retain the most talented workers in a competitive marketplace.

To meet these diverse needs while realizing the full competitive advantages of modern technology, now is the time to initiate a PC refresh. But you need to make sure you choose the right device. Here’s how.

Why the time is right for a PC refresh

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most companies refreshed their PCs every three to five years. For ruggedized devices built to withstand harsh environments, the refresh cycle was typically five to seven years. But that was before the sudden shift to mass remote work. As such, technology needs have rapidly evolved.

Security is another cause for concern, as remote workers have had to rely on consumer-grade Wi-Fi network connectivity. Refreshing devices to upgrade hardware-based security features suddenly becomes essential to foiling sophisticated cyberattacks.

Lastly, every device should be running the most up-to-date operating system (OS) and be able to upgrade to new OS releases as they come along. By refreshing devices, organizations can leverage modern OS capabilities to their fullest potential.

Challenges of finding the right device

Choosing the right device that utilizes the latest technologies can be a complex task. There are many choices, and organizations have much to consider, including:

  • Brand options. Should you stick with your current brand or try new ones? Many companies remain loyal to a single OEM, but that doesn’t always yield the best refresh strategy.
  • Form factors. Devices come in an array of form factors: notebooks, desktops, tablets, 2-in-1s, ruggedized devices, and more. The form factor should complement how the tech will be used.
  • Device capabilities. Processors, memory, graphics performance, storage, and other options should match the intended function. A mobile workstation might not be ideal for simple word processing. An entry-level tablet won’t cut it for data analytics.
  • Business use case. Identifying the use case is imperative. For example, if your device must support multimedia presentations, screen size, 4K video quality, and high-quality audio are “must-have” options.

In the end, you must be strategic when choosing your devices to ensure they match your actual needs.

Questions to help you choose the right device

Selecting the right devices can put your company on the path to success. However, selecting the wrong devices can leave users frustrated, inefficient, and less productive. You can home in on the right device for the right user by asking the right questions. Consider the following:

  • What do you like or dislike about your current technology? What you have may no longer be best for your changing business needs. For instance, the size screen, weight, and portability of the device may need to change.
  • Where and how will you use your new devices? Think about the physical environment and the applications you’ll run. Working outdoors on a cruise ship or oil rig will have different demands than if you’re predominantly at home or in an office setting.
  • What software is most essential to each user’s workflow? Consider the software you’ll be using so you can determine how much RAM, processor speed, and graphics cards it requires, as well as if it’ll need other features, like an embedded camera.
  • Will the device suit your security needs? By now all new modern devices ship with the latest OS, but you may decide to utilize hardware-based security with the Intel vPro Platform.
  • What accessories might help your users be more productive? For example, if you have gloved workers who input information on tablets, a stylus might allow them to be more efficient.
  • Are the latest “shiny and new” technology innovations useful, or is the hype not worth the investment? Folding screens like on the X1 Fold are all the rage but does this feature solve a particular business need?

 How SHI can help you find the right device

The best way to determine if a potential device is an ideal match is to test it in your own business environment. SHI can help you do exactly that through its agnostic device demo center.

Simply engage your SHI representative to identify up to five devices that will be shipped to your door for a month-long evaluation. Then, load your own software and files onto the devices and use them in the intended environment to gain hands-on experience ahead of a purchase decision.

Stay ahead of the curve

The world changed in an instant, and just as quickly, so did the devices companies need to keep their businesses up and running.

There’s never been a more opportune – or necessary – time to initiate a device refresh. Act now, and make the shift toward modern devices today.