Faculty/Staff Computer Purchasing
Harvard University offers educational pricing on computers and software to faculty and staff. To review our recommended standards and make a purchase, reference the following resources:
- Desktop purchasing recommendations
- Laptop purchasing recommendations
- Purchasing a HMS-funded computer
- Required security software
Purchasing Non-Standard Computers
If you need to purchase a non-standard computer for specific research or multimedia needs, please contact your local IT Support Team prior to purchasing. Note: Support for non-standard devices may be subject to best effort support and not given the same priority as standard offerings.
Hardware Purchasing FAQs
How often are the HMS computer recommendations updated?
HMS Information Technology regularly reviews computer recommendations based on vendor refresh cycles. At a minimum, equipment offerings will be reviewed on a yearly basis.
How do find the serial number or asset number?
To locate your serial number, reference our How to find your computers serial number knowledge article. The asset label will always be on the top or back of the desktop, or the bottom of the laptop, and have an 8-digit alpha-numeric text starting with HMS, with the following phrase on them:
HMS Information Technology Need Help? 617-432-2000 HMS000123
How do I purchase a computer?
How do I purchase software licenses?
Software licenses for many applications are available from the SHI Store in the Buy-to-Pay supplier portal. Please check with your lab, department administrator, or finance manager for guidance on purchasing software. Some departments have established procedures for purchasing through the Buy-to-Pay portal.
Who decides what kind of computer equipment I get?
Your work responsibilities determine what type of computing equipment is appropriate for you. Individuals who travel or attend meetings will have a need for a light-weight laptop, while a standard tower would be more appropriate for those who primarily sit at a desk. Your departmental Client Services Representative or the HMS IT Service at 617-432-2000 for assistance with selecting the best computing equipment for you.
What are the equipment replacement lifecycles?
Computing equipment lifecycles have been determined by balancing functionality and cost. The current purchase/replacement cycle is as follows:
What if I want to buy a computer before the standard life-cycle time frame?
The standard life-cycle time-frame is an industry suggested time-frame for replacing computers. HMS IT does not mandate that computers be replaced at the end of the life-cycle, but we do strongly recommends keeping the computer in service for the recommended period of time to get maximum utility from the computer.
There is no policy preventing a computer from being replaced before the recommended life-cycle, however doing so reduces the maximum return on investment in the computer.