Retail vs Business-Grade Devices: Get the Best Value for Your Business

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“If the only tool you have is a hammer, it’s hard to eat spaghetti,” wrote David Allen in his book, Getting Things Done.

Whether you find that funny or not, it’s true: You’ve got to use the right tool for any job. You cannot expect to get the results you want from someone who is not well-equipped for it.

Now, a business computer is a very common tool in the workplace. But computers are not all the same. You use desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones for different things.

Among computing hardware, there are retail IT devices and business-grade devices – and those are not the same. So, what’s the difference?

The Difference Between Retail & Business-Grade Devices

Desktop computers, laptops, routers, printers, and scanners are used in many organisations. Some may have their own servers, switches or hubs, and multi-function devices. A few may be using wearables for work, and some types of IoT hardware.

Let’s compare the retail and business versions of business IT hardware.

Retail/Consumer DevicesBusiness-Grade Devices
PurposeFor general/personal useFor work/business use/multi-tasking
Aesthetics/StyleMore stylish, can be flashy, can come in more coloursProfessional looking, sleek, often in neutral colours
Operating SystemWindows HomeWindows Professional
Battery LifeStandardLonger lasting batteries
Power & SpeedStandardMore powerful, faster; laptops have faster processors, more RAM for efficiency and handling complexity
DurabilityBuilt for standard useBuilt for heavy use and longer periods, often uses more robust materials
PartsStandardOften of higher quality, more reliable
ConfigurationHarder to configureMore customisable and easier to configure
ExpandabilityLimitedMore expandability options (e.g., for storage or connectivity)
Compatibility with other devices, systems, & softwareStandardMore compatible with a wider range of devices
SecurityStandardOften with enhanced security features (fingerprint readers, advanced encryption, etc.)
Warranty, Service, SupportStandardLonger warranty, better customer service, more reliable and more comprehensive support
PriceMore affordablePricier


When it is Best to Use Business-Grade IT Hardware

When choosing between retail and business-grade devices, consider the specific needs of your business. We know that devices built for business use are often more fit for purpose as outlined in the above comparison table.

If you’re on a budget, or if your device will be used only for basic tasks, then you may be able to get by with a consumer device. However, if you have more leeway with your budget, opt for the devices that are better suited. Remember that you can get your money’s worth with business-grade hardware in the long run.

Value-Driven IT Procurement for Businesses

When buying computers or digital devices, involve your IT team or Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) throughout the entire process.

Work with them to first, assess your needs. Consult with the people who will be using the devices. What will be their primary use? What kind of work will be done on them?

Second, identify the kind of hardware that will fulfill your needs. What should be the minimum specifications? Which features are essential? Which are nice to have but not must-haves? What add-ons will be required?

Third, ask your IT team or IT Provider for product recommendations. Explore the given options –pricing, warranties, after-sales service and maintenance, vendor processes, and related matters.

You can make the decision to purchase once all your questions are answered. Otherwise, provide more information that can help find a more suitable product.

Get the Right Tool for the Right Job Through Your IT Provider

Having the right tool for a job can be a game-changer. You therefore need to select IT devices with the best value. Your IT provider can be extremely helpful navigating the relevant options and work with the manufacturers to obtain the best pricing possible by leveraging their relationship with the device manufacturers and distributors

With their technical background, they can identify and explain what’s best for your needs.  Their experience and proven procurement process can also make purchasing much easier. What’s more, an IT partner can assist you with installation, deployment, and maintenance.

Finally, an IT Service Provider can help you get all your IT hardware, software, system, and network up to speed. If you want to evaluate your entire IT infrastructure, ADITS can help you identify areas for improvement. Contact our friendly team for enquiries today.

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