In today’s business office, the computer is the number 1 tool for around 90% of employees. The PC handles most, if not all work related tasks, down to every last details, including human interaction. Computers are the “bread and butter” of every business. That’s why it’s very important that every company’s IT infrastructure functions flawlessly. The hardware performance of every workstation needs to be both strong enough to support any software updates brought on by its developers as well as flexible enough to be able to handle any drastic changes demanded by the company’s management.
However, malfunctions (and male-functions) aside, computers do age, and their life span is limited. Before that time even, the time when computers go to that “big trash bin in the sky,” they become too obsolete to handle the stress imposed by the new generation of software applications and operating systems. The retirement age varies greatly depending on the initial configuration, but many companies, in an attempt to cut their costs, choose to push their computers well past the “honorable discharge” age.
And while they succeed in reducing expenses, what they don’t understand is that they also reduce their income by an even greater amount. Continue reading →
The arrival of winter unrelated, as this phenomenon occurs all year round, office hardware components have a certain tendency to migrate, from workstation to workstation. Unlike in the animal kingdom however, the migration is not voluntary and they do not leave their home in search for sunnier skies. A monitor, a keyboard or even a more internal component, like a power source, will find a temporary home at another workstation where there is a more severe need for it. All other scenarios aside, this is only about the sanctioned transfers, the ones acknowledged by and done with managerial supervision.
The most common occurrence is the Quick Fix. Something unexpected took place or someone didn’t take enough steps ahead and now a zero-day solution is needed. Things need to be fixed fast and they need to look right, like that was the plan all along. A perfect example is a morning, or even an afternoon business meeting that involves a presentation. Whether Jim didn’t read his emails or if a last minute change, Mr. Roberson will also take part in the meeting, and will be helping with the presentation. Also, the presentation will be an interactive one and the clients will also participate.
This means that everything that was prepared needs to be tenfold.
There’s a computer in the meeting room, but we need a lot more. First thing, ask someone from IT to bring some computers in. Sure, they have plenty of them in storage, but none are ready to be used this very minute. Most are just a jumble of wires and computer boards, dusty and dreary looking, most definitely not fit to be used by business clients. Continue reading →
Understanding the tools of your trade is vital to understanding what are your capabilities and also your limitations, because just like there’s a door for every key, there’s also a tool for every task. A painter needs a certain brush for drawing a landscape, a brush that would prove inadequate for the intricate details of a portrait.
In the 21st century business, the computer is both the brush and the canvas.
A computer has two very distinct parts, the hardware and the software, two sides of the same coins, both with their own purpose and performing their own function. The hardware is the foundation, while the software acts as the floors and walls. With a strong enough foundation, we can continue to build and add floors upon floors. Continue reading →
A functional computer, where every component is still in working order, can still prove to be a broken cog in an otherwise efficient company. Going by the postulate that “they don’t make them like they used to,” a company can easily find itself with an operational hardware network where the average device age can be as high as 10 years. Enduring and stubborn, some computers insist to persist well beyond their retirement age. And in spite of what it may seem like a great thing, this is a ticking bomb that sprays bills instead of shrapnel.
An outdated, but working computer can generate a heap of troubles.
The license for your OS is about to expire, and you decide that it was about time you stepped into the new decade anyway. Nothing works on Windows 98 and more and more software developers are starting to discontinue support for Windows XP. More even, software engineers are starting to develop for Windows 8. You make the purchase and license your entire computer network only to throw a wrench in the well-oiled machine that was not long ago your business. A lot of your computers can’t handle a modern OS, or if they do, they are greatly burdened and strained by it.
A computer’s operating system is not the only obstacle an old computer can confront. Any software that is meant to exist over a company’s entire network can become its enemy. And compatibility tends only to propagate. Newly developed applications require for the latest update of its support software to be installed as well, which require a more and more powerful hardware to run on. Maybe just one updated application is not enough to slow an old computer down to a crawl, but the spun web of updates and software upgrades required to support it can, and will do it bring it to its knees.
That’s why it’s very important to have a very clear picture of your hardware assets before you commit to any software changes. After all, a computer’s hardware can’t learn new tricks.