Business IT equipment: choosing the best supplier

When it comes to choosing business IT equipment, numerous factors are taken into consideration. Which employees will get which equipment? Will it help them improve their productivity? How will it connect to the company’s current IT environment? And of course, what will the cost be and what benefits will it provide? A low purchase price is often a crucial factor for the IT department which has to make the decision, even though this does not always produce the most beneficial result.

Switching IT equipment creates a lot of work for IT managers. Providing a whole organisation (again) with the equipment which it needs is, to say the least, quite a major undertaking. Especially when all the devices need to have a standard configuration, have the correct software installed and comply with vital (statutory) security requirements. Not to mention a substantial investment that will have to be finally recouped.

Growing popularity of iOS and MacOS

Many firms feel that investing in PCs along with tablets and smartphones which run under Android is, first and foremost, the most beneficial option. That is because they are cheaper to buy than Apple equipment, for instance. However, Apple is on the up, and not without reason. The US technology corporation is essentially focused on consumers. That’s what makes their products intuitive and easy to use. Employees often use Apple devices at home and so want to bring this user-friendly aspect into the office with them. In Europe, Apple iOS is the most commonly used operating system in companies with fifty employees or more.

When various IT managers are asked about this, Apple seems – apart from being the preferred option of many employees – to offer quite a few more major benefits.

Benefit 1: fewer IT service tickets
Products are simple to use, and many people are already using iPads and iPhones at home. This means fewer user queries for the IT service desk to deal with and increased productivity for employees.

Benefit 2: easy rollout via Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme
To make a device ready for operation, you need to unpack the device, start it up, install the software, configure it and possibly run some more updates, and then neatly pack it up again. This process must be carried out in an organisation hundreds of times in succession. For IT managers and their department, the equipment rollout process is a full-time job in itself. But, thanks to Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme (DEP), this process is now a thing of the past. DEP is a tool which can be used to fully automate the installation and configuration of new devices. As a result, this process can be carried out by employees themselves in the way that the organisation wants them to. IT departments can keep control over their mobile devices, but their workload feels lighter.

Benefit 3: software updates also available for older systems
As Apple is a provider of both software and hardware, the company has been offering software updates and support for years. Suppliers who only provide hardware are dependent on third-party software, which means that it isn’t always obvious when updates are going to come.

Benefit 4: products have a higher residual value
One complaint which is heard a great deal about Apple products is about how expensive they are to buy. How do you recoup this investment? However, the higher price of the products is quickly recouped as a result of the time which is saved in terms of rolling out and managing the devices. There is also the fact that Apple products often have a much higher residual value. Savings of up to 80% can be achieved, depending on the type of organisation and degree of automation.

Benefit 5: integration with Cisco and IBM
Another asset in favour of iPhone and iPad for business use is that Apple offers a variety of handy business apps thanks to its cooperation with Cisco and IBM. Integration between Cisco and Apple also offers companies numerous benefits in terms of better roaming, priority for business-critical apps and integration with Cisco Spark.

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There is a rise in the use of mobile devices in the office, resulting in a variety of benefits. Is your IT system already geared up for this?