3 Realities When Transitioning to a New Work Computer
I have a son with a birthday coming up, and we were discussing getting him a new remote-controlled car. Thankfully, someone remembered the batteries. I can still remember being a kid on Christmas morning.
I had finally gotten that remote-controlled car I’d been waiting for. I happily opened all the packaging and got ready for the beautiful day awaiting me, only to find...
And I am old enough to remember that, back then, stores were closed on Christmas. The day was, officially, a bust.
But what does this have to do with your business? Good question.
Does this remind you of the last time you ordered new workstations for your employees or yourself? Did everything work EXACTLY how you wanted it to, right out of the box? What about the day AFTER your IT guy got done working on them?
The answer is probably no, and I'm going to explain why.
1. Your New Computer May Work Differently Than Your Old One
Trust me, this is no surprise to anyone who has been around computers for a while. And trust me, I know it’s especially frustrating as a business owner. You've ordered all new hardware and your employees STILL aren't entirely productive from the start.
Your expectations are high, and rightfully so. But the disruption to your employees and impact on productivity increases the overall cost of this investment.
As all of this begins to settle in, you start to hear complaints from your staff: "My new computer still doesn't work right, and it's definitely not as good as the old one."
In truth, the perception of the staff may just be a reflection of the new machines being different than the old ones. Just like getting a new car - even if it's the same make and model of your previous car, if it's a newer model year, it's going to be slightly different. Better or worse is subjective, but definitely different.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways that you and your IT partner can approach this proactively that will significantly reduce the negative impact. Plus, it enhances the experience and helps you realize the value of your investment.
2. All Office Computers Might Not Be the Same
Let’s begin with the understanding that this experience is every bit as frustrating to any qualified IT professional as it is to you and your staff. So why does this happen and what can we all do about it?
The Right Setup for Each User
Do you know the differences between everyone’s computers, even though they may be similar hardware? Does your IT professional know what each department or individual needs?
There are so many factors involved in getting a new workstation setup “right” the first time. (This includes the very definition of what "getting it right" even means!)
Are all the machines in your whole company the same make and model? If not, there may be differences in what can or cannot be connected to the machines. Also, some external devices like printers, scanners, or even headsets may not have software that is compatible with the new computers.
These are critical considerations that should be made before the purchase of any new hardware. If these facts are clear in advance, it will be a smoother transition for everyone.
Each Department Has Its Own Needs
Do you have all the same applications loaded on all of your company computers? Are there core applications everyone needs?
Do individual employees within your organization have job-specific applications? Maybe only your accountants need QuickBooks, and not your executives, for example?
Again, it's important to realize that some job functions will have different requirements than others. This will likely impact the hardware and software being added for that job role.
Personalization By User
Everyone has things that are important to them, and personal preferences on how their computer is set up.
Do you want pictures of your kids on your desktop? Or will you mind having pictures of someone else’s kids, or their dogs, or their favorite car or sports team? Do you like your icons organized alphabetically or arranged in specific ways? Do you have more than one monitor?
The point behind all of these considerations is to help you realize that every single workstation in your organization, and the experience of the person using it, truly is a custom solution.
Just like kids, applications and technology change over time. You don’t expect your kids to look exactly the same in each school year photo, do you? A similar thing happens with technology. As hardware and software vendors release new products, the way things work will be slightly (if not significantly) different. And every update or change potentially modifies each person's custom setup requirements.
3. Replacing or Upgrading New Computers Takes Time and Planning
The most important thing you can do to help your IT professional “get it right” is to provide ample opportunity for them to assess the needs of each job function and individual.
This will allow for planning the proper purchases, and it also gives your solution provider the chance to ensure that compatible solutions are placed appropriately.
Computers Take Time to Setup Properly
Next, plan for enough time for your IT professional to work with each end-user that requires specific solutions. Not every user is the same, and not every job requirement is the same. So, it's unlikely that a “canned” solution will be appropriate or effective for key individuals within your organization.
Finally, understand that the more customizations that are required, the more time and complexity you are introducing into your workplace. While this may not be the intended consequence, it's possible that this will not only complicate the initial setup of this machine, but also add to the ongoing support requirements.
Your IT professional wants precisely what you and your employees want: a custom solution that works perfectly for each person. We want to see that Christmas morning joy turns into a long and satisfying experience!
And with some careful considerations and proper planning, you will see that investment turn into everything you hoped it would.
More questions? We're happy to chat anytime. Give us a call at 800-481-4369.
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About Brian Modrak
Brian Modrak, Service Delivery Manager for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., began his IT career in 1996 as a government technology specialist. He joined the team in 2011 as our self-proclaimed Reactive Services Manager with a Proactive Mindset. He says, “I believe in reacting to a situation, but know I haven’t done my job until I have transitioned a problem through to a long-term and proactive solution.” He now oversees all aspects of service delivery, and guides his team to deliver an excellent customer experience with every interaction.