your business computers you can reduce the amount of money you
spend on hardware by sharing components and peripherals while
also reducing the amount of time you spend managing your
Equipment sharing is extremely beneficial: when you share
resources, you can buy equipment with features that you would
not otherwise be able to afford as well as utilize the full
potential of that equipment on your network. A properly designed
network can result in both lower equipment costs and increased
Suppose that you had a number of unconnected computers.
Employees using these computers would not be able to print
unless you purchased a printer for each computer or unless users
manually transferred files to computers with printers. In this
scenario you would be choosing between hardware and labor
Networking the computers would give you other alternatives.
Because all users could share any networked printer, you would
not need to buy a printer for every computer. As a result,
instead of buying numerous inexpensive, low-end printers that
would sit idle most of the time, you could buy a few inexpensive
printers and a few printers with high-end productivity features.
The more powerful printers would be able to print more rapidly
and with better quality than the less expensive ones. In
addition, the more powerful printers might also be able to print
in color and to sort, staple, or bind documents.
When you select the right mix of printers and assign each
network user appropriate access to them, you have enough
printing power to address the needs of all of your employees.
Rather than leave expensive equipment idle, you provide your
employees with the latest, most powerful productivity
features—all for a significantly lower cost than if you were to
purchase an inexpensive printer for each workstation on the
A network enables you to share any networkable equipment and
realize the same benefits that you would enjoy from sharing
printers. On a network, you can share e-mail systems, modems,
facsimile machines, data storage devices such as hard disks and
CD-ROM drives, data backup devices such as tape drives, and all
network-enabled software. When you compare the costs associated
with sharing these resources to the costs of purchasing them for
each computer, the savings can be enormous.
A network also enables you to save money on software. Instead of
buying separate copies of the same application for various
machines, you can purchase one copy with enough user licenses
for your network. In large businesses the amount of money saved
on software is substantial.
Finally, you will also be able to reduce your administrative
overhead. On a computer network, updates to software, changes in
user information, and network security can all be accomplished
from one location. With standalone computers you would be
required to make these updates on each individual computer