A Small Investment to Keep Your Employees Productive
Bill is working on a critical customer proposal when his computer screen flashes to the "Blue Screen of Death." He frantically calls the IT Help Desk for troubleshooting and they discover the problem is a hardware issue. His computer will be out of commission until replacement parts are ordered, shipped, and installed.
How is he going to get this proposal (and all of the other tasks he needs to do) done if he doesn't have a working computer anymore?! Read on...
There are a variety of reasons why an employee’s computer may become temporarily or permanently unusable – it could be a hardware failure, virus infection, hardware/software incompatibility, age of equipment, etc.
When situations like these arise, repairing or replacing the computer as quickly as possible is always the goal, but that can take several hours or even DAYS depending on the issue.
If old equipment was the cause of the failure, hopefully your IT team had some insight that the end was near, planned accordingly, and implemented new equipment before it officially died on the user. But if it died before they anticipated, or if the cause of failure was something that IT couldn’t plan for, such as a detrimental virus or a hard drive failing without warning, having a “Plan B” will be critical to minimizing downtime and maintaining business continuity while the situation is resolved.
So how can they stay productive while your IT support provider is repairing or replacing the computer?
For situations that arise without warning, the best way to make sure employees can continue doing business as usual is to keep a spare computer on hand for emergencies.
Having a pre-configured computer ready to go at a moment’s notice will keep employees productive while the issue with their primary machine is being remedied. And if it’s determined that their primary machine either can’t be repaired, or the investment in repairs isn’t worth the value of the machine, then the spare can easily be made their primary computer with minimal disruption to their workflow.
It's also convenient to have a spare computer on hand for new employees. If you hire someone with a short lead time, the equipment piece of their new user setup will already be taken care of. The IT support team will just have to configure the appropriate accounts, permissions, etc. so they have the right access to your IT systems.
Related content: Getting proactive IT support could prevent many issues from happening in the first place. Is it time to invest in a better way to do IT? Download chapter one of "Do IT Right".
How much would it cost?
Los Angeles and Orange County metro-area businesses (including Inland areas, such as Corona, Redlands, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Pomona) can generally expect to pay around $800 to $1,000 for a spare workstation, depending on the company’s standard configuration requirements.
If you outsource your IT support to a managed IT services provider, you may or may not also have to pay labor costs for computer configuration, but that varies depending on how your agreement with them is structured.
While the cost of an extra workstation is not an insignificant amount of money, it’s likely not as much as it could cost you to have unproductive employees. Payroll is the largest expense for many companies, so keeping employees productive is generally a top priority.
An option for companies that use a Terminal Server, Citrix, web applications, or other cloud environment where data can be accessed over the internet, is keeping a thin client on hand. They are generally less expensive than desktop computers and offer the necessary functionality for some companies.
To discuss how this might fit into your IT process, feel free to give one of our Business Technology Specialists a call at 800-481-4369 any time.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.