Computers, Internet etc

Set up Computers & Software

What is “Computer Hardware”
Computers are a combination of both hardware and software. Hardware is defined as the physical ‘things’ such as your monitor, CPU (central processing unit – the brains of the computer), keyboard, mouse, digital camera, printer, scanner, disks, memory cards etc. Anything that is tangible in form and can be attached to your computer or is the computer or is in the computer.

Hardware is getting cheaper as technology improves and this is good for the small – medium business owner. If you are starting out – remember it is better to choose your software first, to meet the needs of the business as much as possible.

Hardware is then bought to fit the software that you have purchased. This is the most efficient way to purchase hardware and software. Also, ensure that any hardware purchased is scalable – in that if you expand or wish to add software to your computer you are able to.

Types of Hardware
The types of hardware that are available are numerous; however below is a list of the most commonly used hardware items.

  1. CPU / Processor:
  2. Computer Memory – RAM and ROM:
  3. Drives
  4. CD Burner
  5. Monitor
  6. Keyboard
  7. Mouse
  8. Printer
  9. Digital Camera
  10. Scanner

What to Look for When Choosing Hardware

There are three options to consider when looking at making a capital investment – which is what the purchase of Hardware is. A lot of money is involved so you need to thoroughly investigate what option is going to suit your business needs the best. The three options are the buying of hardware vs. the leasing of hardware vs. the renting of hardware.

Before Buying Hardware
Before you choose your hardware, ensure that you have chosen your software first. Your software choices will dictate what type of hardware you need e.g. how much computer memory you need, the speed of CPU that you require.

Choosing software first allows you to fit the computerisation around your existing business processes and information as opposed to fitting your business around the new computer system. Each business is different, and therefore has different needs – needs which need to be understood thoroughly by you, before you go out and buy software.

Once you have a complete understanding of what your business requires in terms of software, you can then purchase your hardware around the software specifications. If you have existing hardware it is more difficult, however you can expand your hardware capabilities by the purchase of new memory etc.