There’s something about that label. An “Entry level” workstation is seen as insufficiently powerful, marginally useful, and substandard when placed on a professional’s office desktop.
This characterization might have been accurate years ago. But today, even entry-level workstations can be capable, powerful computing devices that, under the right circumstances, can be “cool” for users to work with.
Moving entry-level systems from stigma-inducing to cool requires properly making a handful of critical decisions. Get them right, and your organization could save significant money, while boosting user satisfaction with new systems.
What is an entry level workstation?
It usually starts with a modestly powered CPU (often one generation behind the current market leader) and continues to have the following:
- Minimal RAM (generally 4 GB at this point)
- Basic graphics capabilities (sometimes, those on the motherboard; other times, those available from an inexpensive graphics board)
- Gigabit Ethernet
Wrap it all in a basic box with a standard keyboard, mouse, and video monitor, and you have your entry system.
It might be the perfect system
As companies race to embrace cloud services, it can be argued that the entry workstation is the perfect system for most employees to use.
It might be that what you need is an internal marketing campaign, not a larger budget for desktop workstations. It all depends on the job you’re asking systems to do and the way you present the systems doing the job.
Chromebooks are the very definition of minimalistic workstations. The barest entry-level workstation will be more powerful than the most powerful Chromebook, so the comparison should be frequently made when talking with employees.
Spend where it will be noticed
Spend a few dollars on the components that have the biggest impact on user satisfaction.
There is now a dizzying array of keyboards available for purchase. Most of the keyboards that make the “enterprise class” grade are within a few dollars of one another, so employees can be allowed to “customize” their system with little difference in purchase price and no difference in support costs.
Management could offer employees their choice from a selection of mice or other pointing devices to be used at the desktop. For minimal difference in price, the employee has a maximum feeling of personalization.
3. Monitor size
The enterprise standard has been twenty-one-inch or twenty-four-inch monitors for nearly a decade. But today, it’s possible to purchase twenty-seven-inch monitors for little to no more money.
The entry-level system doesn’t need to be a symbol of shame, for it can gain access to cloud-based services and information as equally well as much more expensive systems. And if Management will allow for some choice in monitors and accessories, the users will come away feeling more digitally empowered than ever before.
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