Standardizing a network means keeping both hardware and software consistent throughout an organization. This strategy means using the same models of PCs, notebooks, and mobile devices as well as the same operating systems for every type of machine. Standardization may require an up-front investment, but the process will deliver significant advantages for both employees and business operations.
Less time spent troubleshooting and lower-tech support costs. When an employee calls the provider with a problem, the provider won’t have to spend precious time figuring out which device or operating system the employee has. Also, if the machine needs a part or needs to be replaced, then support can quickly find the needed part or machine. Since the employee won’t be on the phone waiting for tech support to customize the troubleshooting process, the employee will have more time to spend doing his or her job.
Unified upgrades. Instead of having fifty disparate machines to upgrade at different times, the entire office can upgrade its equipment, operating systems or key applications at the same time. Standardization means less downtime during the upgrade and universal training for staff. Instead of spending time mentoring every staff member on his or her machine, managers can roll out company-wide communication in lieu of individual training sessions. Sharing the same experience allows staff members to be resources for each other.
Simplified budgeting. When a business has standardized equipment, it can plan for any financial outlay required over the life cycle of the equipment. Accounting can anticipate the number of machines that will require replacement every year, and every machine will be on a similar depreciation schedule over its life cycle. Additionally, since all machines will be using the same provider, the company can save a significant amount of money with provider bundling packages. Some vendors will also offer equipment discounts when a business makes a volume purchase.
Easier and more accurate inventory tracking. Instead of having an office full of different machines and never being sure who has which device, a business will have a unified set of desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones that can be tracked in something as simple as Microsoft Excel. Based on an employee’s role in the organization, he or she will receive a standard-issue set of devices such as one desktop, one notebook, and one smartphone. Also, if the employee leaves the company, then managers will know which machines should stay behind.
Don’t avoid standardizing a network out of fear that employees will resist change. Also, don’t back away from standardization because the investment in new equipment seems like too large of a capital expense. Over the life cycle of the equipment, businesses usually make money by going with standardization because the amount saved over the long term will provide a significant return on investment.
To find out more about how standardization, managed services or other choices that we offer will benefit your bottom line, contact Scale for a free consultation today.