Have you ever gone to Futureshop to buy a toaster? How about a microwave from The Brick? A refrigerator from Best Buy?
I’m sure many of you have taken advantage of the weekly promotions from these big retailers to purchase appliances, furniture and electronics at bargain basement prices. But what about their computers?
When it comes to price, they are hard to beat and for the home user who plans to browse the internet and play video games, they are the cost effective solution for the household technology. Warranties, stability, compatibility, scalability, and security are of no concern to someone who plays solitaire all day.
To the business user who relies on their computer system on a daily basis, buying a toaster and buying a computer should be conducted with a separate decision making process. Computers are highly complex tools that can provide multitudes of functions to increase an individual’s ability to process more work than traditionally possible. Purchasing a computer requires a conscious decision similar to purchasing a car, not a toaster.
The truth is that most computer brands and configurations, even the most basic packages, can perform the tasks required by the average business. The key to purchasing a “good” computer is, ironically, not the features that are advertised upon purchase but those features that can carry the computer into the future. This brings us to my topic of choice…Maintenance.
When anybody asks me what computer to buy, or what they should look for, I always tell them to think about what maintenance would be required for the level of machine they are thinking of purchasing.
I know that a large percentage of buyers are looking at price as their primary criteria, but often that purchase ends up costing them more in the end when something goes wrong. A good purchase will have future planning already factored in to cover warranty, stability, compatibility, scalability and security.
Before deciding on how your computer system affects your business, consider for a moment what would happen if your computer stopped working. Just like any other mechanical device, a computer requires periodic inspection and testing to ensure that it will continue to operate at the optimum level. Important factors include dust and particulates that build up on moving parts such as fans, which keep the computer cool and within running temperatures. An overheating system can result in instantaneous burnout of your chips, your harddrive and ultimately puts your data at risk.
Other physical issues can include dried out plastic connectors which can cause random power failures and also potentially damage data. Being able to detect and prevent issues is an important function of periodic maintenance and a properly trained technician can inform you of the issues that may occur with each visit.
No matter the computer or system you purchase, ongoing maintenance plans can compliment the warranty and increase the lifespan of your technology. When comparing the maintenance that I have provided to my customers over the years, a trend of what works and what doesn’t has appeared and can be categorized under 5 categories which I will post in subsequent blogs.