Date First Published: 11th October 2023
Topic: Computer System
Subtopic: Computer Hardware
Difficulty Level: 3/10
Learn about what factors affect the choice of an IT system.
When choosing an IT system, it is important to carefully consider various factors so that you buy one suitable for your needs and make an informed decision. This article is about the things you should consider when buying an IT system.
Each of the factors below have different levels of importance to different users. For example, accessibility will be of higher importance to users with disabilities. Below are ten key factors that affect the choice of an IT system.
User experience (UX) is the overall feeling a user gets when using an IT system. Several factors can affect the user experience, including:
User needs are related to the tasks the user wants to complete using the IT system. Different users will have different needs from their IT systems and most devices are designed to meet specific user needs. For example, someone looking for a music player for a large festival will need to buy one that is very reliable as it could result in a harmed reputation if the equipment fails.
Specifications refer to the list of components an IT system requires in order for users to run the software they need and perform their tasks. It is important for the hardware and software specifications to be clearly defined when choosing a new IT system. For example, someone choosing an IT system for playing high-end video games will need one that meets the minimum hardware requirements of the video games they want to play. Examples of specifications include storage space, processor speed, RAM capacity, and graphics processing capabilities.
Compatibility refers to whether the IT system can communicate with other devices it is being used with. Any new hardware, software, or devices need to be compatible with existing systems. For example, more modern computers do not have a VGA port for connecting a monitor, which an older monitor would be incompatible with.
Connectivity refers to how a device can connect to a network, such as a LAN. Before choosing an IT system, users will need to consider whether they can connect wirelessly, using a wired connection, and the wired and wireless technologies they support. For example, a business network that consists of mobile devices will need to support Wi-Fi as most mobile devices and some laptops do not support wired connection technologies, such as Ethernet.
The cost of an IT system varies. There is a one-time cost of buying the IT system and other costs of running it, like energy and consumables, such as printer ink. Before choosing an IT system, users will need to consider whether the cost of the IT system they choose is within budget. For example, a powerful gaming computer can be very expensive and cost over £1000.
The cheapest option may not be the best and it is also not recommended for users to buy more than they need, so they must balance the capabilities of the device against the cost.
Efficiency refers to how efficiently tasks can be completed using the IT system. A well-designed IT system should allow users to complete tasks efficiently with as little wastage of resources as possible. The resources used are often time, energy, consumables, and staff.
Implementation refers to the time involved with putting a new system in effect. This involves the following:
Productivity refers to how quickly tasks can be completed when using the IT system. Fast load times, boot times, and whether the device tends to crash or freeze impacts on productivity. If users find the new system slows them down, they will need to quickly improve it so that productivity stays high.
Security refers to how safe the IT system is from security threats and attacks, such as viruses, malware, and hacking. For example, the Windows operating system is more vulnerable to security risks than macOS. The main reason why Windows is more vulnerable to viruses and malware is due to its popularity. This means that its vulnerabilities are often exploited by attackers, which can leave users vulnerable to security risks and is the reason why it is important to keep it updated.
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