Looking for a better way to support customers remotely, and without the need to make on-site visits? Take a lesson from tech provider Filip Jirousek. Even before the pandemic began, he found a way to reduce on-site customer visits by 50%.
And he did it with the remote management in Intel vPro technology.
That gives a big boost to the company Jirousek founded in 2000 and now heads. Called PC Technika, it provides managed IT services, consulting and support to customers in the cities of Raleigh, Cary and Durham, N.C.
PC Technika’s services for both businesses and consumers include computer maintenance and upgrades, networking, virus removal, data backup and recovery, and remote support and monitoring.
To learn more about how PC Technika uses Intel vPro technology for remote manageability, we spoke with Filip Jirousek.
How does the remote manageability offered by Intel vPro technology help you to help your customers?
Being able to remotely turn on machines after hours allows our customers to save money on power. This means the computers go from being on 24 hours a day, to only using power 8 to 10 hours a day. With PCs built on the Intel vPro platform, we’re also able to work on machines after hours, saving our customers from having downtime during business hours.
How about reducing the need for on-site visits?
Raleigh is a large city with heavy traffic, and we can waste a lot of time if we have to travel on-site. Using the Intel vPro platform allows us to save on travel time, as we’re able to work remotely and work with multiple customers at the same time. We wouldn’t be able to multitask like this if we had to be on-site for every issue.
For those of your customers now shopping for new work-from-home laptops, how are you advising them to support remote manageability?
For all of our business clients, we’re recommending PCs equipped with the Intel vPro platform. It’s a game changer. Before, we had difficulty scheduling customers when we were busy, and less-critical issues were delayed. Now, using managed services and Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT), we can resolve these issues faster, making our clients happy. Without being able to work remotely, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.
You work closely with Lenovo. Why is that?
We use Lenovo computers for several reasons. Their products are high-quality and rock-solid. They are great to work with. Lenovo never sells at lower prices than their providers. The company is innovative. And they are an industry leader.
Get on board with remote manageability: Explore the Intel vPro platform.
This isn’t your father’s cloud market. More than 6 in 10 small and midsize businesses (SMBs) now have a multicloud strategy, according to Rightscale. And among large enterprises, it’s more like 8 in 10.
New workloads are part of the cloud mix. Digital advertising, digital video and media, and cloud-based services (including SaaS, IaaS, PaaS) are among the forces driving this rapid, disruptive change.
Now’s the time for you and your customers to lay the cloud foundation. To help you prepare, here’s a look at some of the top emerging workloads in the cloud. All are evolving — even exploding — into new business opportunities.
Visual cloud: something to see
Visual cloud extends beyond traditional media, delivering video with more intelligence. It’s emerging as a foundational building block for many new services.
Markets for these new services will be large. For example, we believe video analytics will be an $11.17 billion market by 2022. Another new service, immersive media, should exceed $35 billion by 2025.
Visual cloud implementations include:
> Media Processing: Video content creation and streaming require lots of compute, network and storage capabilities. New use cases and platform services are emerging, such as training videos.
> Media Analytics: Performed on live media or distributed video streams, media analytics helps service providers, content aggregators and content-delivery networks better understand the nature of the visual content and derive useful intelligence from it. Sophisticated applications can do everything from detecting suspicious intruders in a video-surveillance feed to surveying the traffic patterns in a smart city to better control flow.
> Immersive media: Innovation in AR/VR solutions is changing how humans interact with the world. These technologies are also inspiring innovators to introduce new products, services, and business models into the visual-computing market.
> Cloud gaming: In much the same way that movie distribution has evolved from physical DVDs to online streaming, online game services have begun to take advantage of the internet’s faster connection rates and improved compression techniques. Examples include Google’s Stadia and Amazon’s Twitch.
HPC: high-performing growth
In the last year, the portion of workloads that have moved to the cloud from high performance computing (HPC) users jumped to 20%. We now expect the market to be worth $7.4 billion by 2023, a major increase in our forecast.
As a result of this new data, Hyperion Research believes that the HPC cloud-based market has just gone through a major growth tipping point.
Drivers for HPC in the cloud include flexibility for extra capacity, cost for better economic decisions, specialized hardware and software, and the power of hybrid environments.
Storage: to the cloud
Everyone agrees the world is generating a lot more data. The question is where to store it.
One answer is the cloud. We see the worldwide market for cloud storage growing from $18.7 billion last year to $41.1 billion in 2024.
During that period, we expect, the amount of data stored in the cloud will grow more than five-fold, from 33 zettabytes to 175 ZB.
By market, much of this growth will come from data generated in life sciences, enterprise mobility, and technological advancements. For example, personalized medicine applications will need data analysis, storage and management.
New use cases are emerging, too. Decoupling data from its application enables entirely new paradigms for data management.
For example, consider a food-delivery system. Traditionally, it would design an application in monolithic way, collecting a lot of data from the user for placing orders — but not taking advantage of that data for new opportunities.
However, if the food-delivery company were to use data disaggregation and build storage as a service, it could then use the same data to explore new opportunities, since the data is decoupled from the application. That could mean creating a recommendation engine that gives user recommended ads or promotes restaurants.
Get ready today
One thing all these emerging workloads share is that they all run best on Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Intel delivers on the promise of performance everywhere: public, private and hybrid clouds.
Intel works with partners like you to deliver complete cloud solutions. Take advantage now of these valuable resources:
> Find hybrid cloud solutions with Intel Select Solutions.
> Get smart with Intel Partner University.
> Find solutions and partners in Intel Solutions Marketplace.
Time is money — how would you like 60% more of it?
That’s the kind of benefit Prosper Solutions gets from Intel vPro technology. Prosper is a Saugus, Mass.-based provider of IT support services including help desk and SMB consulting. Founded in 2001, it today serves the greater New England and Boston area. Prosper is also saving time — and money — with the Intel vPro platform.
Specifically, Prosper has shortened the average time needed to resolve an OS problem from 100 minutes without Intel vPro to 40 minutes with — that’s 60% faster. Prosper has also cut the average time needed to resolve a hardware issue from 70 minutes without Intel vPro to just 30 minutes with, another 60% improvement.
Prosper’s customers enjoy gains from Intel vPro technology too. Their average annual PC downtime has shrunk from 240 minutes without Intel vPro to 60 minutes with. That’s an improvement of an impressive 75%.
Steve Wojcik, CEO of Prosper Solutions
To learn more about how Prosper Solutions benefits from Intel vPro technology, we spoke recently with the company’s CEO, Steve Wojcik.
Why does Prosper Solutions rely on PCs built around the Intel vPro platform as a standard to improve customer service?
Going forward, we’re quoting only vPro-enabled units. This is our recommended solution for our clients.
Using PCs with Intel Core vPro processors is a win for us, especially because the Intel vPro Platform allows us to enable multifactor authentication for better security.
What are the benefits?
With Intel Core vPro processor-based PCs, we can cater to a wider range of customers. We can also increase the number of PCs that each technician is able to manage, increasing business.
Using computers with the Intel vPro platform means issues like a blue screen can be taken care of the same day, versus scheduling someone to go out days in advance.
That’s important because traveling to customer sites is so time-consuming?
Yes, any time you don’t have to roll a truck is a huge bonus. Faster service brings a positive impact to our bottom line. It also keeps our customers’ productivity soaring.
Intel Active Management Technology is faster than the technology we were using previously, and it maintains a persistent state during reboot. So in the boot-up process, we can see the whole screen. That’s something we couldn’t do with our previous tool.
Do you use Intel vPro with a remote monitoring and management solution?
We like ConnectWise because it’s a single pane of glass. It shares data between modules, and without us having to do a lot of programming. This is important for MSPs like us. We don’t want disparate tool sets. ConnectWise has the full stack.
You work closely with Lenovo, right?
We use Lenovo because their service is excellent. If an issue arises, we’re able to speak directly to a Lenovo customer-service representative. They’re willing to ship out units to us. And they provide models for us to do demos for our customers, helping us with sales.
Get fast: Check out the Intel vPro platform.
Storage bottlenecks in the data center got you down? Consider a tiered approach.
Server CPUs keep getting faster, but disk storage has failed to keep pace. Hard disks and even NAND-based storage systems can’t always deliver the speeds needed. And migrating to faster DRAM-based options can be prohibitively expensive.
The solution? A tiered approach based on strategic caching.
For this tiered approach, two components are key: Infinio Accelerator software and Intel Optane DC SSDs.
Infinio Accelerator is a software-based, server-side cache solution. It makes efficient use of the DRAM your customers already have, eliminating their need to buy additional DRAM for caching.
Intel Optane DC SSDs offer a unique combination of low latency and high performance. These solid state drives provide up to 96% the speed of DRAM, but at a significantly lower cost. On a per-gigabyte basis, Intel Optane DC SSD costs 2.5x less than DRAM.
By combining Infinio Accelerator and Intel Optane DC SSDs, your customers can significantly improve their storage performance. And by decreasing the amount of DRAM they use for caching, they can do so at a fraction of the traditional cost.
Looking to help your customers get past their storage bottlenecks? Check out this solution brief: Accelerate Storage with Intel Optane Technology and Infinio Accelerator.
Everyone wants to get more work done in less time, but how many of us actually do it?
Anchor Managed Solutions Ltd. does. The company, a managed services provider (MSP) based in Saskatoon, Canada, uses PCs featuring Intel Core vPro processors in conjunction with its existing management-console software to speed the resolution of OS problems.
Anchor’s ABC plan — short for Anchor Business Continuity — helps customers plan for a network or systems crash by securely storing their assets in the cloud or at offsite backups. Anchor also offers antivirus protection, 24x7 systems monitoring, and IT road map consulting.
In an interview, Andrew Down, a partner at Anchor Managed Services, explains how Intel vPro technology helps his company provide proactive services speedily, productively and efficiently.
Why do you recommend that your customers have their PCs built on the Intel vPro platform?
We recommend PCs built on the Intel vPro platform as the standard across the board. For us as an MSP, it’s all we try to sell. We see this technology as a game-changer. We want high-quality products for our clients. We’re selling business-grade devices, and we try to sell the value of things like the Intel vPro platform. From someone who sells a lot of endpoints to our clients, we 100% look for PCs with Intel vPro first.
What kind of benefits does Anchor enjoy with Intel vPro technology?
Using PCs with the Intel vPro platform decreases our average downtime and the time it takes to resolve a problem. That’s because we can provide service remotely through Intel Active Management Technology. Ninety percent of our help desk is remote support. We try to avoid deskside visits as much as possible, and the Intel vPro platform definitely helps with that.
Everyone wants more productivity. How does Intel vPro technology help you get there?
With PCs based on the Intel vPro platform, on-site visits are less stressful, and we can use the time more efficiently. We use the face-to-face time to make sure our clients are happy. And because we’re fixing issues proactively with Intel Active Management Technology, we have time to do more proactive reviews.
We emphasize quarterly reviews to discuss budgets and planning and projects, as opposed to helping with desktop issues, which is not a good use of face-to-face time. We save twice as much time, and we’re more efficient this year largely because of Intel vPro management tools.
You work exclusively with Lenovo hardware. Why? And how is that shaping up?
Lenovo treats us well. Any time we have issues or need something extra, our Lenovo reps step up to help, whether that’s providing demos, or samples, or swag. They look out for us. We’re a Lenovo depot center, and our techs are certified and trained.
We’ve found that we’re successful focusing on just one brand.
How would you like to shorten the time you need to resolve hardware problems by 83%?
That’s the kind of time-savings enjoyed by BlueBird IT Solutions, an MSP based in Toronto, with help from Intel vPro technology. The company’s average time to resolve a PC hardware problem has dropped from 90 minutes without vPro to just 15 minutes with.
That’s a big deal for BlueBird. It serves Canadian customers from Toronto all the way west to British Columbia, a territory spanning some 2,000 miles. Driving out to a customer’s site can take long hours. With Intel vPro technology’s remote management solutions, BlueBird can serve many of those customers much quicker, and without leaving the office.
In this interview, Stephen Khalla, senior manager at BlueBird, explains how Intel vPro technology helps speed hardware repairs.
How does Intel vPro technology help your company?
We cover a wide swath of Canada — from Ontario to British Columbia — so if we have to roll a truck, it can sometimes take us up to three hours to reach a customer just in Ontario.
By being able to remotely remediate and repair many issues with Intel Active Management Technology, we not only save our technicians’ time, we improve their productivity — and our customer’s productivity, too. That’s because they aren’t waiting for us to arrive.
Going forward, we won’t put in a system unless it has an Intel Core vPro processor inside.
How does vPro save you time?
The beauty of the Intel vPro platform is that a customer can call us and say their computer is responding slowly. Then we can remote in and scan the hardware to identify the issue. Without it, we'd have to drive over there, run scans, and make repairs.
The Intel vPro platform lets us check the hardware and bring the right part the first time if something has failed. Or, for instance, if there is a bad sector on the hard drive, we can troubleshoot and repair remotely.
Does Intel vPro help you handle high-demand situations?
Yes. Our techs don't just sit here, they multitask and can handle many clients at the same time. That’s because the Intel vPro platform makes it easier to analyze a system remotely and help clients avoid downtime. Our techs can often remediate the issue immediately — improving everyone’s productivity — or overnight a new piece of hardware to the client.
This means our techs can stay in the office, avoid drive time, answer additional calls, and support all our clients fully — rather than having one of those technicians onsite supporting a single client.
You work closely with Dell too, right?
Dell is our friend. We get very aggressive pricing from them, which is a big factor. And their systems are extremely reliable. If there is a hardware issue, we literally have a Dell person onsite the same day.
Do you also use ConnectWise, the remote monitoring and management solution?
Yes, we use every single tool that ConnectWise offers to sell, manage, connect, and automate. The integration is very good, and it assists with every aspect of our business. The information is all in one centralized location for us.
Want to learn how Intel vPro technology can help you? Visit the Intel vPro Platform page now.
Whether your customers are growing or need a computer upgrade, they may feel overwhelmed by the choices in today’s marketplace. Because many small businesses are budget-conscious, they might think they’re saving money by opting for the least expensive PCs on the market, designed for the general consumer. Or they may wait as long as possible to upgrade.
Here's why both those approaches could actually end up costing your customers more.
Time = money
The longer it takes to accomplish something, the more expensive it is for your customer’s business. For this reason, both newer computers and PCs designed for business can save them time, especially when completing complex tasks or using several applications at once.
Small-business owners surveyed in a study commissioned by Intel estimated that computers older than 5 years made their employees 29% less productive. Businesses need a newer PC with the ability to use several open applications simultaneously, hour after hour, every day. Depending on their business, your customers may need to handle complex tasks, from graphics and video editing to data-heavy spreadsheets and advanced analytics.
For the power and speed to manage complicated tasks, computers built for business will work more efficiently. They often have more random access memory (RAM) and more powerful processors, such as the latest Intel Core i7 and i9 CPUs. Business PCs offering a range of powerful CPUs plus capacity for more RAM are better equipped to handle a wide range of business tasks than consumer models.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to keep data secure, especially sensitive customer information that they rely on you to safeguard. For that, businesses need the latest security features designed specifically for business purposes.
Today’s business-class laptops often include built-in security features, such as fingerprint readers. Many PCs built for business also ship with Windows Information Protection (WIP), which helps protect PCs against potential data leaks.
Versatility is key
While consumer PCs can offer cost savings, business PCs are far more varied and adaptable. There are many more configurations and forms within each model line to choose from. Your customers can select the devices that work best for their business needs, employees and space limitations.
Your customer may prefer a full-sized tower with easy access to add or swap out components like more memory or storage, or upgraded graphics cards or additional ports, as necessary. Or they might need mini PCs like the Intel NUC, which has the power of a full-sized desktop in a form that’s small enough to hide behind a monitor. For mobility and ease of use, they might prefer traditional laptops, or a 2-in-1 that combines the qualities of a laptop with those of a tablet.
For consumer PCs, ports might be limited in number and type, or product lines may be less varied. Even HP’s Envy line of high-end consumer PCs has just 4 models, compared with the 62 available configurations in the company’s EliteBook line for business.
More reliable too
From the materials they're made from to how they're built, business PCs are designed and tested to handle sustained operation and constant use. Modern PCs with Windows 10 Pro are designed to be reliable for business uses. They will likely last longer and handle more consistent usage than the average consumer-market PC. Because PCs built for business are durable, they also typically offer longer warranties than their consumer counterparts, plus prioritized service.
The initial outlay may be higher for a business PC. But its higher reliability and performance will likely result in a greater return on investment over its lifetime than will a consumer PC.
Shopping for business PCs takes time. So help your customers find the right features and configurations for their business needs. Start by visiting a local retailer, or search online for PCs powered by the latest Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors with Windows 10 Pro.
Whatever your small or midsized business (SMB), chances are you depend on increasingly advanced technology — or wish to use more sophisticated technology.
Recent advances have been numerous and head-spinning, sometimes making it hard to keep up. The truth is, harnessing emerging technologies effectively may be exactly what takes your business to the next level, ensuring success in today’s rapidly evolving, competitive business landscape.
If you aren't using one of these emerging technologies in your business yet, it's likely that your business would benefit from doing so in the near future.
How can you leverage technological advances to help your SMB be more innovative and competitive? Here are trends affecting small businesses to watch when evaluating what technologies to adopt.
With cloud computing, small-business owners can implement sophisticated software using software as a service (SaaS) or desktop as a service (DaaS) models. The advantage of these models is that they update and maintain applications, eliminating the need for onsite servers or purchasing multiple copies of software. This can help reduce costs and increase efficiency.
The DaaS model also stores, helps secure and backs up user data. Additionally, cloud computing means never having to worry about software updates.
According to a survey by Gartner, 63% of SMBs already use cloud computing. To maximize the benefits of cloud computing, you’ll want to have up-to-date PCs and computing devices.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Software that uses AI — or more specifically, machine learning — collects data from tasks, eventually “learning” how to do those tasks more quickly and accurately. AI can thus help your business save time and money by automating certain repetitive, manual tasks that take up too much of your employees’ time. According to a Harris Poll survey conducted for Salesforce, an average of 23% of an SMB team’s day is spent manually inputting data.
Just how popular is AI becoming? More than 60% of SMBs already use the technology to automate some processes, according to the Salesforce survey. What kinds of AI are they using? Many use tools like Microsoft’s Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa for scheduling and planning, chatbot to analyze customer questions, RPA Express to automate data entry or Salesforce Einstein to analyze data or identify leads — to name just a few.
For SMBs wanting to benefit from these technologies, running them on PCs equipped with powerful processors and memory helps ensure they can handle the increased demands on their computing power, such as modern PCs and computing devices powered by the latest Intel Core processors.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Devices and objects are increasingly interconnected: phones, HVAC systems, security systems, cars and more. To use multiple apps making all those connections, plus tracking products through the supply chain, you may need to upgrade to computers with more powerful processors or more memory (RAM) to help your company use its software more effectively.
Perhaps not surprisingly, 78% of growing small businesses already report using more than one business application. And 30% use more than five, according to the Salesforce survey.
The ability of employees to work remotely has become essential, not just for employee well-being and productivity, but also for connecting at client offices, satellite venues or while traveling. The effective processing power, speed and longer battery life of modern laptops provide employees with flexibility that helps them — and your business — thrive.
Today’s notebooks, thin-and-lights and 2-in-1s are available with more powerful processors, more RAM and more solid-state storage than previous generations. And today’s portable technology can handle cloud-based apps, making them more flexible than ever.
Because SMBs don’t have the large IT staff and security budgets of bigger companies, they can be tempting targets for cybercriminals. In a 2018 cyber-risk report by Hiscox, 44% of SMBs reported suffering a cyberattack in the previous year, and 52% of those businesses had been attacked more than once.
In addition, many SMBs still use Windows 7, and they may be at risk. Microsoft stopped providing updates and support for this PC operating system as of Jan. 14.
Here are some ways you can help improve the cybersecurity of your business:
> Upgrade to Windows 10
> Educate employees about cyberthreats, with tips to avoid them
> Enforce the use of passwords on all business PCs and devices
> Implement multifactor or biometric authentication
> Set up automatic software updates
Be ready for the future
Whatever your goals for 2020, it’s a good idea to think strategically about technology that could take your business to the next level. Outdated hardware can hurt your SMB’s bottom line. So make updating your PCs part of your technology plan this year.
To learn more about options for updating your technology, visit Intel.com/smallbusiness.
If you’re running a small business, chances are your budget is tight. You may consider buying new PCs a luxury you can’t afford, at least not right now. But if your employees are working on computers that are 5 years old or older, this could actually be costing you serious money.
Here are 3 ways using older computers can result in your business throwing away money.
1. Lost employee productivity
Older computers result in less-productive employees, for a variety of reasons. In a recent study of 3,297 small businesses in 16 countries, conducted by J. Gold and commissioned by Intel, the small businesses reported that employees using older PCs spent what could amount to 11 hours per year just waiting for their computers to start up.
That’s just one way employees are slowed down. Anyone trying to use new or resource-intensive software applications, load web pages, or run a number of applications at the same time on an old computer knows it can result in massive slowdowns. Computers with slower, less-powerful processors typically can’t handle the load.
When work doesn’t get done in a timely manner due to these slowdowns, business owners can mistakenly think they need to hire more employees to handle the work, which will likely cost more money. Or they may turn to cloud computing or Software as a Service (SaaS) to try to boost efficiency and save money.
However, while technologies such as cloud computing and SaaS may help somewhat, to make a substantial difference they would also require speed and processing power not available from old computers. Essentially, these services need more than an older machine can deliver.
Overall, the J. Gold study found that computers 5 years old or older can result in lost productivity, up to 29%. What does that mean in terms of dollars? Each older PC being used in your business could cost you up to $17,000 annually in lost productivity alone.
2. Computer malfunctions and upgrades
On top of lost productivity due to slower startup times and inefficiently running software applications, PCs that are 5 years old or older may also be more likely to break down or need upgrades to function properly.
While it may seem cost-efficient to just install more memory here, make a repair there, the money you’re dumping into outdated computers adds up. That's also money you could use to buy new PCs.
The J. Gold study discovered that over the course of a year, the small businesses surveyed estimated that about 43% of PCs 5 years old or older either malfunctioned or suffered a breakdown. The study also found that the average reported repair cost for these older PCs came to $662 a year.
Enough of such repairs could soon equal the cost of a better, more powerful new PC. Plus, those newer PCs are less likely to fail or malfunction.
3. Cybersecurity breaches
The last thing a small business wants is a cyberattack, whether that means being hacked or getting hit by malware. But cyberattacks can and do happen.
A survey by global insurance company Hiscox found that nearly half (47%) of small businesses experienced at least 1 cyberattack over the span of a year. Of these, nearly half had been hit more than once.
Unfortunately, the older your PC, the more vulnerable it may be to cyberattacks. In the J. Gold study, respondents estimated that nearly 35% of their PCs over 5 years old had been hit with malware or some other form of cyberattack. Meanwhile, fewer than 6% of their PCs under 1 year old had been attacked.
A data breach can be extremely costly for a small business, and that goes beyond the harm to your customers and your business’ reputation. In the Hiscox survey, small businesses estimated that the average cost of cyber incidents over the past year totaled $35,604.
Updating your PCs to the newest operating system available (currently Windows 10) is often the best way to boost your cybersecurity. But remember that running Windows 10 on an older computer means you may not have access to all the newest security features. And if you continue to run PCs on Windows 7, you should know that Microsoft stopped providing security features for that OS earlier this month.
So what should you do about it? Three tips:
> If your company's PCs are 5 years old or older, know that hanging on to them may not be saving you money. Instead, realize it could be costing you quite a lot.
> When you calculate the price of new computers for your business, remember to factor in potential savings from greater employee productivity, fewer repairs and security risks.
> When buying new PCs, be sure to look for the latest Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors. These CPUs help computers to access information quickly and deliver reliable, efficient performance, enabling employees to work effectively and productively.
Upgrade your small business to new, more powerful PCs. It could be the best investment you'll make.
The PCs you choose to power your small business can dramatically impact your company's productivity and competitiveness. However, many small businesses fall for common myths about computers, leading to poor purchasing decisions.
Here are 4 myths about PCs — and realities to help you make smarter technology decisions for your business.
Myth 1: Consumer PCs are interchangeable with business PCs
Reality: Because they're built for activities like watching videos, checking email and surfing the web, PCs for the consumer market will not always have the computing power or security features sophisticated business applications demand. If a family laptop reluctantly boots up or crashes, it's annoying, but not serious.
For a business, however, computers are mission-critical. Employees are more likely to run multiple applications simultaneously, use resource-heavy applications or use software as a service (SaaS). PCs built for consumers often lack the computing power to handle these tasks — resulting in lost productivity.
Consumer-level PCs may also lack built-in security features of computers designed for businesses, which could make your business — and sensitive customer data — vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Myth 2: RAM is the top factor in computer performance
Reality: Adding more random access memory (RAM) usually allows a computer to manage more data. But RAM alone won't improve a computer's performance — unless the PC has sufficient processing power. To make a PC faster and more efficient, you need a powerful central processing unit (CPU) to optimize the RAM. While RAM is the memory, the CPU (or processor) is the computer's "brain," receiving instructions, performing calculations and processing information.
To run today's resource-intensive business software efficiently, look for computers with plenty of RAM plus processing power, such as PCs combining an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor with Intel Optane memory — delivering up to 2.5 times more responsive handling of everyday tasks and up to 66% faster web performance compared to five-year-old PCs.
Myth 3: You can wait until PCs fail before replacing them.
Reality: Long before a PC fails, its performance may suffer, costing your business time and money. Waiting for an older PC to start up every day can waste up to 11 hours a year. Crashing, freezing or slow computers can keep your employees from working efficiently, and may appear unprofessional to customers or clients. Sluggish, malfunctioning PCs can reduce employee satisfaction, as workers become frustrated with outdated technology.
Don't wait until your business PCs slow to a crawl before upgrading. Be proactive. Look for hardware that exceeds your software vendor's recommended system requirements. This will help ensure your PCs can handle future software upgrades. Then set a regular schedule for upgrading your hardware.
Myth 4: You're saving money by repairing old PCs.
Reality: Repairing or adding RAM to squeeze more life out of older computers may seem economical. But the cost of keeping older PCs running quickly adds up. According to Intel-commissioned research from J. Gold Associates, repairing breakdowns of a five-year-old computer costs an average of $662 per year. The same research found 43% of the small businesses surveyed had PCs that were over five years old — and malfunctioned each year. At that rate, you'd soon be spending more on repairs than on a brand-new, more powerful computer.
Besides losing productivity during breakdowns and repairs, older computers are also slower. Using five-year-old PCs can make your employees up to 29% less productive, potentially costing your business up to $17,000 per year, per worker.
Older PCs can also put your business at risk of cyberattacks. Per the J. Gold Associates survey, small businesses estimated that 34.47% of their computers over five years old had been hacked. With the average cost of a single data breach worldwide estimated at $35,745 per employee, an older PC rapidly becomes an expensive liability.
In the same survey, small businesses reported that just 5.92% of their PCs newer than one year old had experienced cyberattacks. Newer computers frequently offer built-in security features to reduce risk of cyberattacks. If you've updated to Windows 10, upgrading to a PC with the 8th Generation Intel Core processor can help you focus on growing your business instead of worrying about cybersecurity.
Blindly accepting myths about PCs can be expensive for your small business. Upgrading to more powerful computers can optimize the performance of your business software, enhance your cybersecurity and boost employee productivity.
The next time you're making decisions about computer purchases, be sure you base your actions on reality. Then choose the right PCs to make your business more competitive.
Learn more at Intel.com/smallbusiness