IT management is an ever increasing cost for all businesses. Planning ahead is essential if you are to stop your computer support costs getting out of control.
Requirements are constantly changing and computers are constantly improving. The advent of cloud computing is also beginning to play a significant role in reducing costs. However, a single computer can cost a company many thousands of dollars per year. But there are a number of simple ways to reduce your IT costs that are often overlooked by small business managers and company owners. Here are 5 of them:
Make Sensible Investments
Buying top-quality computers means spending less on replacements. All computers have a limited lifespan and it is important to get full use of it. In most cases, a computer will last about 3 years. Service warranties and guarantees from a manufacturer are essential – without them you are likely to have problems.
Invest in Maintenance
Having an IT consultant to manage your affairs over a long-term period makes sense. Looking for a computer repairs company when you have a problem will cost you more. Computer support should include regular maintenance. In most cases, problems build up over time for a number of reasons. This can be avoided by regular maintenance and is likely to cost less in the long run.
Company policies and procedures on appropriate use of your equipment are important. It is easy for someone to surf the internet at work, and yet this is a common source of damage to company computers. Company computers are a work resource, not a free internet-access machine. Just like we don’t use a company photocopier to copy a book instead of buying one, company computers should not be used for non-work tasks.
Central management saves time and allows the process of computer updates and maintenance to be more effective and accurate. Updating, fixing and patching each machine separately can take a lot of time. Central management allows one central computer to acts as the brain of your company, and uses other computers as terminals.
Consolidation of Costs
Using a single supplier for internet access, phone calls and data storage will make them easier to manage and reduce your costs. A perfect example of this is Voice Over Internet Protocol services. Most application suppliers will offer reduced rates if you purchase multiple software licenses. A good IT consultant will look at all of your company procedures and requirements and show you how and where these costs can be bundled together.
Every company is different, but these guidelines will apply to most. It is important to treat your IT with the attention that it deserves. Manage your IT as an ongoing part of your business and you will avoid the high costs involved in dealing with problems after they arise.