Are Custom Computers A Smart Business Decision?
Anyone who craves top-notch computer performance will want a custom system. Whether it’s a system that you build on your own with hand-picked parts or a commission from a reputable designer, a system with every part crafted to a specific purpose will always be a better choice.
A custom computer’s power–and the effort behind building it–is not always a smart business decision. Consider a few of these tech planning points to figure out if custom systems are right for your business and whether you can find a place for custom power in even the driest assembly line situation.
Customized Power Comes At A Small Cost
A purpose-built tool can revolutionize any situation. If you have a problem and a tool that can handle that exact situation, your efficiency will go through the roof.
If you’re a mechanic or an engineer, that’s a laughable idea. The idea quickly turns into rows and racks of expensive, proprietary tools that you rarely use, but that’s not much of a problem with computers.
For custom computer, you’re either adding a higher than standard amount of power or giving a standard system an additional tool. Although you can purchase small computer boards such as Raspberry Pi units for single situations, most custom computers built to modern standards can do whatever their standardized units can do, but with a bit of extra utility.
The cost isn’t that big of a deal. Unless you’re getting one specific part that’s needed for a specific job–a part that you would need in some form whether it goes in the computer or not–the cost of a custom system is barely $100 in many cases. In situations where a standardized brand name commands respect, a custom computer can even be cheaper.
The Costs Add Up
If you’re a business that needs hundreds of computers, the additional cost from building a custom computer can add up quickly.
A bit of smart shopping can negate this effect, but many business owners need to figure out if all of their employees need additional power. Will that computing utility be used to its fullest every day, or would some employees be more than fine with a standard system at a lower rate?
Keep this in mind if you think of a powerful system that you, your inner circle, or your elites may need. Don’t get too excited by the custom power and throw additional dollars that won’t be utilized into machines that won’t meet their full potential.
Custom Systems And Custom Troubleshooting
Technical support is always an issue, and custom computers can complicate matters. Although the biggest brands are no strangers to technical issues–in fact, many are infamous for their issues–there is always the chance that your custom system may include strange bugs.
Where standardized, branded computers have the same parts (usually) and the same documentation, custom computers will have a unique set of documentation and research challenges. Not only will you need the documentation for those individual parts, you’ll also need to figure out how every part interacts with everything else.
A popular set of conflicts involves mixing AMD chips and Nvidia graphics cards. These two companies are competitors in some areas and business partners in others, but the way that their hardware interacts with the computer can cause strange errors that can take down the entire system.
These problems aren’t just between competitors. A vendor of one random component could write their code that works well for a specific set of mainstream parts in their host nation or market, but it may lead to constant errors with the other components you choose.
Who Owns The Service Agreement?
Who will service your custom computer when it needs maintenance, upgrades, or replacement? If you answered “the designer”, you may be signing up for more trouble than you’d expect.
Technology servicing can be considered its own niche in the tech world. Although it’s true that a manufacturer should know the most about their own technology, they may not be the best at quickly and consistently repairing their systems in business environments.
Service technicians are trained to repair general systems and systems from specific vendors, but they’re also trained in understanding how to navigate install sites. Job site familiarity is an often overlooked trait, but having a technician who can adapt to job site challenges is vital.
How does this computer work in a hotter, industrial environment? What’s the best way to mount this brand when there’s dust coming from certain areas What’s the best practice when dealing with a certain workstation in an office where everyone eats food at their keyboards?
Your custom system designer may not be able to service the system as effectively as a dedicated field technician. At the same time, a field technician will need to take additional time to learn the custom system–which isn’t a very lucrative payout if it’s a limited contract that may or may not be repeated.
The Main Question Is Bulk Cost And Convenience
In the end, custom computers in business settings are best left to specific offices and tasks.
Unless you’re tasking a large number of skilled power users who all need specific tech power and there isn’t an option on the mass market, it’s better to give the general workforce a brand that you trust. Brand exploration takes time, but this can be an opportunity to tailor the standard experience.
Major vendors will have consultants who can measure your business needs and make changes to their standard line as needed. They can also work with custom system designers to deliver a more flexible, scalable experience with as little headache as possible.
It all comes down to communication and documentation, and it’s in your best interests to lay down the ground rules of service ahead of time. Make any contractors aware of your needs so that their offer will consider your service requirements, and use custom systems just enough to deliver power to the right parts of your business.