Why Buying A Desktop PC For Your Workplace Might Be A Mistake!

Posted on September 28, 2014
Archive : September 2014
Category : OCM News

Does the traditional tool of a desktop PC have a place in the workplace?

For your typical office environment, everybody uses a PC. Its probably running Microsoft Windows and has a version of Microsoft Office installed. It should have antivirus installed.  The PC may have a number of other programs installed such as accounts, databases etc. If its properly installed, and the user is sensible, It will have no critical data stored on the hard drive.

The user reads their email, creates their documents and utilises the other programs to fulfill their job function.

A typical workstation including screen and Ms Office costs £600 and will last 3 years. Taking into account holidays, average sick leave etc it will be used for 660 days, 91p a day less any capital allowances your business can exploit. A bargain!

Compare this to the cost of running a laptop. Typical cost with Ms Office, £500 and applying the same criteria, 76p per day.  A 16.5% saving!

Plus with a laptop you get a number of other benefits:-

A laptop will typically have a higher peripheral specification, dvd rewriter, wireless, bluetooth, sound and a webcam.

  • A laptop allows the user to work anywhere ( with the right access ).  At home, on the road or in another office. This can only have the benefit of increased productivity and better staff morale if they are allowed to have flexible home working
  • Laptops present a possible even greater saving. What are the hidden year 2 and year 3 costs of running a desktop PC , obviously the risk of a failure increases and without regular housekeeping the machine will slow down so lost productivity. Or you spend on IT support and/or tools that keep the PC healthy.

The same applies to laptops right?  Not necessarily.  Lets assume you keep your Microsoft Office licence and and the base cost of the laptop is £270. And lets assume you sell it after one year on ebay in August ( students :-) ), you should get at least £150 for a 1 year old laptop. The cost of operating that laptop for a year has dropped to 55p a day. A 39% saving on the cost of operating a PC.

Then you buy a new laptop ( and the prices are only ever dropping) for £270.  The new laptop has the latest performance increases , the latest specification, will be faster and be less likely to fail or have a performance hit. Hidden operating costs are reduced. You repeat the cycle and there are substantial savings. And capital allowances can also have a huge positive effect on these costs.

As an alternative to selling the 1 year old laptops you may want to consider passing them onto staff ( great for moral ) or donating  to a good cause. How much publicity could you get for your business by donating 10 laptops to a charity or local project ? Is that publicity going to harm or benefit your business ?

Yes, there will be data wiping consideration but this can be dealt with very simply and cheaply with the correct knowledge and IT support.

And we have not even mentioned cloud applications, cloud desktops and alternatives to traditional laptops and PCs such as chromebooks. Chromebooks are even cheaper! The cloud is taking over and with solutions like Google Apps for Work and Office 365 all running in just the browser you find that more and more of your work tasks are being completed on devices such as smart phones and tablets. No need for the desktop PC.

There will always be reasons to use a PC, complicated multi screen set ups or for CAD are obvious examples but the traditional desktop PC is a weak tool in the modern workplace. So why would you buy one?

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