It might be time for you to upgrade the hardware used by your mobile workforce. It can be difficult to tell for sure because there is a different upgrade cadence for consumer enthusiasts and business professionals. There are also different types of business professionals. You will seldom provide the same equipment for your mobile salesforce and your content creation team.
It is generally thought that a business team member needs to upgrade hardware far less frequently than consumer and prosumer enthusiasts. Indeed, there are compelling reasons to put off upgrades as longs as feasible including the following:
- Hardware is expensive.
- New equipment requires new training.
- Changes in a well-crafted workflow cause hits to productivity.
No employee ever wants to spend money on new hardware. That includes sellers of cutting-edge hardware gear. They use old gear as long as it continues to work -- in certain business sectors, it isn’t unusual to see computers and devices from the 1960s still actively used. They would much rather devote training dollars to onboarding new employees rather than on retraining existing employees. And workflows are fragile. It takes a long time to come up with a smooth and productive combination of hardware and workflow. Change even one component and you could be in for months of decreased productivity.
At least the financial part of the equation is solvable with something like a small to medium-sized installment loan. Be sure to shop around for the best terms and conditions. Click to learn more about finding a good loan even if you have less than perfect credit. Once the financial component is no longer an issue, here are a few ways to decide whether it is time to provide those upgrades your mobile workforce is asking for:
Your Security Is Behind the Times
Biometric fingerprint scanning has been a part of smartphones and laptops for years. If your workforce is still using equipment that is not protected with the latest biometric security, it is time for you to make the upgrade.
It doesn’t have to be fingerprint scanning, Face unlock is a standard part of the Windows operating system and OEM hardware. It works very well against simple security threats. It is also available on smartphones. iPhone’s FaceID is likely the most secure. But Android phones are not far behind. If you are considering the Google Pixel line, the next offerings are rumored to gain the feature as well. It is typical to use consumer smartphones for business applications. Be sure you only upgrade to products that are up for the security challenge.
Connectivity Is Unreliable
Different networks operate with varying degrees of proficiency depending on where you are. It doesn’t matter if you think one network is better than the rest. It might not be better where your people have to work. If that is the case, you might have to upgrade the hardware in order to change carriers depending on the age of your devices.
There can also be connectivity issues with laptops despite the fact that most of them do not directly connect to cellular networks. If they have outdated wifi standards, they might prove to be unreliable for connecting wirelessly to printers and other devices in the office and out in the field. Connectivity is the difference between getting the contract processed at the client’s site and having to tell the client that you will process the paperwork when you get back into the office the next day. You don’t want to leave a sale hanging due to poor connectivity.
Your Workers Are Clamoring for Change
Your mobile workers are the ones who actually have to use the equipment to get the job done. Neither you nor your IT department have the hands-on experience with the equipment that even your most junior remote worker has. If they are telling you that the hardware is outdated and slowing them down, you should listen.
When your workers sign on, you should give them the option of PC or Mac. In the world of tech and productivity, one size does not fit all. These days, your workers already come to you with a ton of experience with their tech platform of choice. You will have much less downtime and fewer calls to IT by just letting them use the tech they know best.
It is hard to know when it is time to upgrade mobile hardware for your remote teams. But you should be seriously looking into the matter if your security is outdated, the connectivity is poor, and your remote team is pushing for a change.