This is the time of year where businesses are looking over their IT budgets and deciding on whether to buy new computers this year or next. Buying new computers for a business is always challenging – but especially right now.
Beyond the widely reported computer chip shortage, global supply chain issues are creating delays for video cards, computer monitors, and other hardware components. When you add the launch of Windows 11 to the mix, you have a perfect supply chain storm. Computer buyers can expect to see both higher prices and longer lead times.
If you are considering buying new computers right now, we have a few words of advice:
1. Always consult your IT team first.
The IT professionals who are expected to maintain and support your IT infrastructure should be included in any buying decisions. Having an IT purchasing team can help you meet employee needs and stay within the IT budget, making dozens of decisions, like:
Laptop computers or desktops? What screen size? Do we need new monitors too? How much processing speed? Intel Core? Which one? How many USB ports? Which graphics card? Solid-state drive? How much storage space? How much RAM? Which brand? Which operating system? Do any employees need a DVD drive?
The list goes on and on, which is why we always encourage our clients to call us before making any major technology purchase. (Seriously, one 15-minute phone call can save a lot of time, money, and frustration!)
2. Buy for Windows 11 readiness.
Any computer you buy new today should meet the technical specifications required to run Windows 11. Many models are shipping with Windows 10 installed, but promising compatibility with Windows 11 when you’re ready to upgrade.
While you want to ensure you can upgrade to Windows 11 – you may not want to do so just yet.
- Having employees on different operating systems makes technical troubleshooting and IT support more difficult.
- Existing software applications may not be compatible with Windows 11 yet.
- You can let the early adopters find the bugs and figure out the shortcuts, so you get faster time-to-value when you decide to upgrade.
Visit Microsoft to learn more about Windows 11 capabilities.
3. Stick to your computer specs.
Business computers should last about 5 years. By the end of that timespan, the computer is usually out of warranty and technology has advanced enough to warrant a replacement.
With computer supply chain shortages, you may be tempted to buy something “just for now” only to find out that the computer doesn’t really meet your needs. For that reason, we typically try to steer clients away from all-in-one computers and instead have a more modular “built” computer that allows you to swap out peripherals and add more memory when part(s) are back in stock.
Don’t start shopping for new computers until you’ve clearly defined your list of must-have and nice-to-have features. There’s nothing worse than having a brand new computer – only to realize you don’t have a wireless card or there’s no way to connect to an older monitor. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble if you buy all your computer hardware from a single manufacturer (like Dell). However, you will probably want to create different computer specs for different job functions. Some employees only need a bare-bones computer for document processing or to connect to a virtual desktop. Other employees will likely need high-performance machines for data-crunching and memory-intensive processes.
4. Plan ahead.
Right now we’re seeing lead times for delivery about 60 days out. If you want to pay for new computer equipment out of this year’s budget, we recommend ordering your computers now, but recognize you may not take delivery until the new year. You can use this lead time to plan a smooth rollout.
We’re here to help you select the right computer hardware and transfer your data so employees can hit the ground running, working productively from home or in the office.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know I need a new computer?
There are a lot of signs that it’s time for a new computer, some being:
-Turning on and off takes a long time
-Fans running overtime
-Applications running slowly
-New hardware isn’t compatible
Can I upgrade my computer to Windows 11?
A computer currently running Windows 10, must have the most current version of Windows 10 and meet the minimum hardware specifications to be able to upgrade to Windows 11. Depending on what you need/want, buying a new computer might be the best decision for you to utilize Windows 11.
Should I wait to buy a new PC?
In the late months of 2021, we are still experiencing computer chip shortages and supply chain delays. If you want Windows 11 for your PC, make sure to expect higher prices and longer lead times on a new computer.