Could Better Tools of the Trade Answer Your Productivity Gap?

Keeping costs down is a necessity in business. Every doll spent is scrutinised – rightly so, given the currently volatile business environment, which doesn’t look like getting much easier any time soon. Tight budgets look set to stay with us a while longer. There is, though, a danger of falling for false economies, especially when it comes to equipping workers with their tools of the trade.

The temptation is to opt for an across-the-board technology choice. In some cases, that could work. Usually, though, workers have different needs based on their roles, and if you are making-do with lower specs in one area, that may mean overspending elsewhere. If you’ve never reviewed your desktops, laptops and other devices as a whole, you may find it enlightening.

The Productivity Gap

When our device specialists have assessed customers’ needs against their current situation, the outcome can be surprising. There have been top-of-the-range machines used solely for undemanding tasks while high-demand roles like creative work has been hampered by slow, aging machines.

A little number-crunching has shown that reduced productivity among the highest-salaried employees outweighs any savings on a budget device very quickly indeed. Matching the right machine to the right role is time-consuming, and in busy IT departments, time is in short supply.

Right Device, Right Employee

It would be good to say that there is an easy formula to make perfect device decisions, but individual employees with similar titles may work in unique ways. Laptop experts at Dell created a range of machines that offer varied strengths and features – Precision Mobile Workstations for professional creators, ranging from light and thin to more robust, and from essential to superior performance. Their XPS, with high definition touchscreen and a 2-in-1 form factor, meanwhile, might better suit sales reps presenting information to clients.

All that choice doesn’t necessarily make it easier for the time-poor IT department, though, and we’re seeing more organisations outsource part or all their device management needs, treating it as another utility. That approach often makes sense, given the demands placed on those within the organisation. Others stay more involved with selection, and get help with the more time-consuming tasks.

The Biggest Device Time-Savers

Asset tagging and imaging a single device can take hours, and the support to get a user fully up-and-running adds to the distraction. The process can be administration-heavy. The IT team assesses needs, selects a device, creates a purchase order, provides updates, collects the delivery from the warehouse, carries it to the IT department, unpacks, tags the asset, images the machine ready for the user, then in some cases re-packs it, takes it back to the warehouse and ships it to another office for the user. The IT team then provides support for the user as the machine is again unpacked and readied for use.

Multiply that process by several users, or an entire group, and the labour-intensive administration takes a skilled resource away from their primary tasks for days every month. And that’s before we look at ongoing updates and the machine’s end-of-life.

Device management support can cover some or all those tasks in a pick-and-mix arrangement designed to suit each organisation. The result is an option that doesn’t just tackle the productivity gap of those creatives on underperforming laptops, it also allows a productivity boost for the in-demand IT department at the same time. Now that makes sense.

Time to assess your device use, or just time for an upgrade? Talk to our device experts about the latest machines to boost productivity where you need it most.

© 2019 Stott Hoare
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