Don't toss out that desktop PC just yet

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A recent survey by Yankee Group, an IT consulting group, looked at small business owners to find out their purchasing plans for desktop and laptop computers. The survey revealed that nearly half planned to buy both stationary desktop machines and laptops for their employees in 2006. Reason: small businesses often include employees that work in and out of the office, so both are beneficial.

"You certainly gain a lot of mobility and productivity with a laptop, but be sure that the added expense and necessary support infrastructure is justified, as it would be for frequent business travelers or telecommuters," said Russell Morgan, president of the nonprofit Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance (ITSPA) working in tandem with Yankee Group. "If your employees don't fit that profile, it's smart to invest in robust business-class desktops that will serve you well."   
The survey also found that somewhat larger businesses, with between 20 and 100 employees, have offices where 74 percent were desktop and just 26 percent were mobile, said Gary Chen, analyst, Small & Medium Business Strategies, Yankee Group.

According to Yankee Group and ITSPA, there are a number of payoffs regarding investments in business-class desktops, including:
  • More processing power for lower cost than a laptop;
  • Added security against theft and loss;
  • Flexibility to easily add memory and other components cheaper;
  • Often greater reliability and usable life compared to mobile devices which are more easily lost or damaged;
  • Increased ergonomic comfort; and
  • Ease of replacing individual computer elements.