Managed Services - Technology

What Kind of IT Hardware Do My Employees Need?

Business IT Hardware

When it comes to finding the right equipment for your employees or new hires, where do you start? There are so many different options when it comes to IT hardware that it can seem overwhelming. We’ve outlined some helpful steps so that you can find the right fit for your employees.

First, you want to look at the form factors and find out which of the below 3 works best for your business.

Laptop or Microsoft Surface Machines

The mobile form factor can be used for several different types of employees. If they are an employee that will be at their desk all day but require a workstation when they go home, a larger laptop with a docking station at the desk might be a better option than a smaller laptop or surface.

The larger size will normally be cheaper and provide a larger screen when working at home. If they are a sales rep or always on the go then the surface might be a better option because if it’s light weight and battery life.


Desktop computers are going to be your cheapest option so I always recommend to really asses the employees role and see if having a stationary machine will work for them. You can get the same or better specs as a laptop at half the cost. These workstations work well for customer service reps, general office employees and most administrative positions.

If you’re looking to keep your costs lower, these will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

Thin Clients

Thin Clients are not typically something you would see in a small business but they do have a role within some organizations.

So what is a thin client? A thin client is a client designed to be especially small so that the bulk of the data processing occurs on the server. Due to its size, there isn’t a hard drive disk on the client and very minimal specifications. There are benefits to having thin clients in your organization like reduced energy bills, simplified management for your IT department, enhanced security, and increased productivity.

However, these types of networks take quite a bit to setup and maintain. You will find that you will require a full IT staff to correctly maintain the hardware which will be added costs in salaries and benefits.

The server becomes the single point of failure and terminal servers are required to be replaced every 3 to 5 years.

From a user perspective, there is a learning curve with administering thin clients and terminal servers, and will require more training for the employees who will be using these.

Some business owners believe that thin clients are more cost effective than standard desktops, however, this isn’t the case anymore.


After deciding the best form factors for your employees, you want to take a look at what is inside the machine.

Do you require a CD/DVD drive?

In today’s time you can probably get by without a CD/DVD drive, but if you still have some legacy programs that require a CD it is still very inexpensive to have this feature.

How much memory will you need?

Memory or RAM is what allows your computer to do multiple things at once quickly, it holds programs in a temporary memory for quick access. If you plan to be doing a lot of things at once then the more the better. Rule of thumb is to get 8GB of RAM at the minimum.

How much hard drive space?

Today the typical size is 500GB, if you have a server and require people to store information there then this should be plenty. In most cases 500GB will be enough unless you are working with very large data. If that’s the case, look at a solution with more than 500GB of hard drive space.

How big of a CPU do your employees need?

In today’s market you really have to choose between I5 and I7 processors. The I7 of course is better but may not always be for you, i5 will be more in laptops, if you are using any software that is very process heavy the i5 is enough.

Do you require dual monitors?

For me this is a must and once you have 2 monitors it will be for you too. Some employees who work simultaneously in programs will most likely need dual monitors, while those employees in admin roles might only require one.

Altogether, choosing the right hardware for your employees is essential in order for your staff to be the more productive and efficient during their work day.

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