Technology has long sat at the heart of businesses of all sizes, and the developments of recent years have led to these organizations relying more heavily on their tech than ever. But for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the importance of technology does not necessarily match the amount of resource they have to support it.
TechRadar Pro spoke to Sarah Burkhart, senior director of client software and experiences at Dell, about the challenges facing SMBs and how choosing the right laptops for their staff can help to protect and expand their operations no matter the level of immediate tech support they have on the ground.
“My husband owns a small business,” says Burkhart. “And I can tell you, as a small business owner, he does not have an IT department. That is so common amongst small businesses. Inevitably, the owner or whoever is most technically inclined becomes the IT department.
“[As] the technology landscape continues to change, small businesses are caught up in all of the changes that so many of us are caught up in, in terms of the need to be able to access data from anywhere, and the desire to work both synchronously with colleagues and asynchronously. All of that continues to be a problem for small businesses. But then you add on the fact that they have limited resources that are specifically dedicated to technology, and it can become overwhelming for small businesses to navigate these decisions that they need to make around what is the right technology to serve their needs.”
SMBs would much rather be focusing on serving their customers’ needs and the other key aims of the business than worrying about the minutiae of IT infrastructure and security. One of the first steps in ensuring this balance is ensuring that your company is equipped with the right technology to meet its needs.
“Probably the most important thing is to understand that not all technology is created with small businesses in mind,” Burkhart tells us. “But there is technology that absolutely is created with business environments in mind. When you look at, for example, Dell's portfolio, we have PCs that run the gamut from gaming PCs to commercial enterprise systems. There are plenty of solutions within our portfolio where we partner with Intel®. vPro from Intel is kind of a check mark, that you look for to say this is suited for my business's needs.
“I think the first step is to recognise that there is a set of products that are uniquely designed to fit the needs of the small business community,” she continues. “That's where you start and then dig in from there. Otherwise, the tech in the tech landscape is just too confusing and overwhelming.”
Security is key to ensuring a reliable, stable foundation for SMB technology. Users have different requirements, and are best served from being able to choose from a range of laptop and desktop PCs. Business leaders need to be able to choose from ranges of PCs – whether laptops to desktops – that fit these different requirements, while knowing that they are based on a secure and reliable platform that ensures compatibility between these differing devices.
“Looking at Dell PCs that are Intel vPro® enabled ensures that there's compatibility under the hood, if you will, so that those devices all share the same type of security capabilities,” says Burkhart. “Dell and Intel work really closely together to ensure that our devices are the most secure commercial PCs. And they are hardened and protected against threats from malicious actors. I think those are the indicators that small business leaders want to have as they look for new technology that can not only last for as long as possible – are a good buy in terms of their tech spend – but also has compatibility with the other devices in their environment.”
To hear our full conversation with Dell’s Sarah Burkhart and learn more about how to identify the technology that will best support your SMB, watch the video above.
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