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Investing in IT – how to make the jump from consumer-grade technologies

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Warranties on SMB products will also provide improved levels of cover compared to consumer offerings. For example, Toshiba offers three years on-site warranty, accidental damage and anti-theft lock, wipe and find protection against its devices that are specifically designed for SMB use. Business laptops, such as the Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-B, will also have added extras such as impact sensors, which protect devices if they are dropped, to help guarantee work is kept safe, regardless of whether employees are in the office or on the move. Unauthorised access can be prevented by making sure authentication protocols are implemented, especially for those making the most of cloud technologies.

Leasing – making business devices accessible without the upfront costs

Despite the obvious advantages of devices built with business in mind, small businesses may not always have the capital to invest in new technology of this sort. Some vendors therefore offer the chance to lease products, removing large up-front costs and keeping IT expenditure down. For low cost and low risk, SMBs can choose from a range of devices to find one which is most suitable for the needs and requirements of their business. This can also be done in a scalable and flexible manner, with leases available for different timespans, different models and payment plans giving businesses full control over their IT investments. As an SMB evolves, leasing can allow the business to adopt new top of the range technology at an affordable price point, or scale back depending on requirements. As a result, there is a growing offering of hardware as a service for the SMB community.

Many SMBs have previously been drawn to consumer-grade IT due to fairly basic needs, and the reliability and familiarity associated with products they have used before in a personal capacity. However, laptops that have been designed and built with business in mind and aimed at SMBs can provide numerous benefits at an affordable cost that consumer devices cannot match. With IT spend continuing to increase globally, businesses must ensure that that they are investing in products that are suited to them, providing benefits to support this growth.

Gartner predicts that the global SMB market opportunity will exceed £600bn by 2016.

For European small businesses to capitalise on this opportunity, they need to equip themselves with the right IT solutions so that they’re in a strong and competitive position. If SMBs try to achieve this goal while still using consumer-grade hardware that can’t support business software or cloud services, rather than products that are designed to minimise downtime while enhancing productivity and reliability, they may find themselves on the back foot in an increasingly competitive market.

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By Neil Bramley, B2B sales director, Northern Europe at Toshiba

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