Why devices matter
A device enables the user to access various services. No device simply means no access.
If you consider the various technology solutions that you find within a business, ranging from connectivity solutions to smart solutions that enable people to do their jobs better, it becomes clear that the desktop or laptop is integral in enabling the employee to access these solutions. However, says Mark Taylor, CEO of Nashua, it’s about so much more than just the device, it’s about having the right device set up with the right software for the right function within the business.
“The personal computer (PC) is where everything comes together. All devices and technology require a PC to link them to perform certain functions.”
He goes on to point out how megatrends such as globalisation are driving a need for efficient collaboration between people regardless of where they’re located. “Today’s businesses have representation all over the world, you no longer only deal with the people in your division or building or even in the same country. The need to communicate efficiently and effectively and to share data is crucial to business success.”
Another trend impacting PCs in the workspace is the millennial expectations around the devices they interact with. “Millennials want to work on smart, sleek devices that they can pull out to work in a coffee shop or on a plane without being embarrassed. This type of user might prefer a tablet or even a two-in-one laptop.”
Then there’s the fast-expanding small and medium business (SME) space. They need tools that will allow them optimal performance wherever they are. Mobility and security are priorities for them.
The latter-mentioned item is particularly important. Compliance with legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation and – closer to home – the Personal Protection of Information Act, as well the escalating number of cyber attacks on businesses of all sizes, makes it more important than ever to protect devices and data.
“It’s no longer enough to just sell a device to a user, you also need to be able to provide the technology behind it. When it comes to security, this can include solutions like facial recognition and other biometric features or being able to block the device’s camera from being accessed by outsiders. We need to be smarter about protecting end-customers.”
Interestingly, price has ceased to be the leading consideration when supplying technology as businesses are prioritising productivity, ease of use and security over cost. These are all more important factors than the bottom line. “For today’s businesses, regardless of size, the essential element is having the right device that suits you as an individual as well as the requirements of your role within the business. You have to match the device to the function it’s expected to perform.”
This brings us to optimising your PC fleet. Taylor goes on to talk about remote management and monitoring services that plug into the businesses’ environment and evaluate who is over- or under-utilising their PC. “The tool looks at the number of devices in the environment and detects which PCs aren’t being used to their full capacity, enabling the business to replace those devices with less technologically advanced solutions, for example,” he explains.
However, he cautions against performing a unilateral downgrade of all devices across the business in the interests of cost-savings: “A customer-facing employee can’t have old, clunky technology if they’re trying to sell top of the range technology to a customer. This is where it’s so vital to have the right device for the right purpose. Additionally, people who work in an IT or engineering environment need the right device to cope with the unique demands of their role within the business. Field workers on mines are another excellent example of where a more rugged device should be chosen as being best suited to their workplace.”
It’s clear, PCs are becoming ever more personal. And a sleek and shiny device doesn’t have to be an expensive device – you can put a processor in any type of device or laptop, you don’t need high processing power if it’s being used as a typewriter. This meets millennials’ needs for a nice-looking PC without it costing the earth, explains Taylor.
Offering employees the right level of device for their role within the business might also mean there’s no more brand loyalty when it comes to technology. You can’t over-estimate the value of having a sleek device that works efficiently for you. This includes additional items such as power banks that enable employees to work remotely – or during load-shedding – as well as docking stations and cables to secure laptops to tabletops.
Taylor concludes: “There’s no doubt that millennials are driving change in the way PCs and services are sold. Choosing the right provider is key to keeping these employees of the future happy and productive.”