In this blog I will set out the ideal setup for your business IT systems. It represents current best practice for small and medium sized businesses, with an ever-increasing eye on cyber security.
Initially I thought it would be a single blog, but it turns out there is a lot to write about! I’m therefore going to publish it in a series of blog pieces. This is Part 2. You can read Part 1 here.
The ideal computer setup for your staff is an essential part of ensuring an efficient working environment. The right setup ensures the systems work for them, not against them.
I won’t go into individual PC specifications here, other than to say for a PC or laptop for everyday office use we recommend a minimum specification of i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB hard drive or SSD.
This is more about the ideal setup from a working perspective, particularly given the shift to hybrid and working from home that was accelerated in 2020. So, here goes….
With incessant email, the need to access web browsers, video calls and of course accessing Office products (Word, Excel etc), a single monitor can be a real drag on productivity.
That’s why we recommend a dual monitor environment as part of your ideal computer setup. Modern PCs can drive at least 2 monitors and so can many laptops. Indeed with a laptop you can effectively have a 3 monitor arrangement, the laptop screen being the 3rd monitor.
If you’re still working with a single monitor, trust me when I say you’ll feel liberated when you move to a dual monitor setup!
If you’re like me and detest clutter on your desk, those keyboard and mouse cables are no doubt a distraction. So we recommend a wireless keyboard and mouse as part of the ideal computer setup. Laptop users will find this particularly helpful, removing you from the constraints of the smaller keypad and tracker on the laptop.
Very much ‘must-have’ items with video calls now being a standard element of day-to-day business. Laptops have good built-in cameras, but the speakers on PCs and laptops can be quite tinny in sound. If you prefer privacy then a set of headphones, with built-in microphone, is probably the best way to go. Lots of options here, its very much a matter of personal preference.
That’s all for computer peripherals.
This is an interesting one. At its most basic level a UPS provides battery back-up power for a short time in case of a power outage. In countries or regions with unreliable power supplies, they are very much a must-have piece of equipment. More sophisticated models also provide ‘power smoothing’ features that ensure the power supplied to your PC is clean.
Why is this important? Well, PCs, like all electronic equipment, do not react well to instantaneous loss of power. As well as ensuring you lose anything you are working on, instant loss of power can cause hardware or configuration failures on your computer.
Power smoothing is important for a similar reason. Continuously fluctuating power (frequency, current, voltage) will degrade your computer over time, causing it to fail sooner than its usual life expectancy.
So a UPS brings numerous benefits and is well worth considering.
Between part 1 and 2 of this blog I have covered the ideal setup for your IT systems from a hardware perspective. Next time I’ll cover software (oh joy!).