Businesses warned over consumer tech 'bargains'

Non-biz PCs could end up costing you more, says Gartner

Non-biz PCs could end up costing you more, says Gartner

Businesses have been warned they risk higher costs if they buy cheaper consumer PCs in favour of business class systems.

Some businesses buy consumer class PCs and laptops for company use due to their lower initial cost but analyst Gartner is warning they could actually end up with a higher total cost of ownership.

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Leslie Fiering, analyst at Gartner, said IT departments are subject to cost saving pressures but purchasing consumer systems is "no substitute" for business class hardware.

She said the premium companies pay for business systems "reflects the real value" they offer in terms of reliability, ongoing technical support and stable platform development.

Fiering told smaller businesses are more likely to go down the consumer route due to the lower number of systems they run.

She said: "In large business we don’t see too many businesses [buying consumer systems]."

But she added IT departments often have to resist pressure from users or other departments to go down the consumer route as "the business units are often looking at the dollars".

According to Gartner, consumer systems undergo less rigorous testing which leads to failure rates up to 50 per cent higher than business versions, leading to greater repair costs and downtime.

There is also less support from manufacturers as consumer tech warranties typically run out after a shorter period than corporate systems.

Consumer hardware also comes with platforms that lack business-oriented apps and tools - such as docking stations.

Gartner supports the idea of employee-owned systems but suggests these schemes should respect the business needs of an organisation.

Fiering advised users to purchase from a company-approved list of "consumer friendly corporate configurations" until suitable tech has been developed to isolate corporate needs from consumer ones.


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