Organisations around the world have all felt the squeeze of the recession. Whether business is booming or scraping the bottom of the barrel, we all need to keep our eyes peeled for ways to stretch our budgets. IT support is a wise investment, and most companies pay monthly or annually for that vital help with technology while setting up servers, or for a professional rescue when disaster strikes. Here are 5 top tips to help you make the most of your money, and stretch your IT support budget even further.
1. Get Protected!
The first and most important thing to reduce your IT support bills, and help keep them reduced, is to invest in good anti-malware & anti-virus software. Most companies think these are expensive, and will often opt for free versions that they can find on the web. While these are good options and still do a great job, they don’t offer the full protection that you really need to keep your servers and your important data safe. Paying for the proper version may seem like an expense but will save money in the long term.
Here’s another great tip: make sure that instead of forking out thousands for each computer in your company, you opt for the multi-license option for businesses and networks. Most good anti-virus brands will do special deals for a large number of computers on your network – keeping you covered, and keeping the cost down!
2. Cloud Computing
Those who really want to rake in the savings should opt for a Cloud IT solution. More and more organisations and businesses are realising the huge potential savings that Cloud Computing offers. So what is it, and how can it save you so much money? Basically, it’s like having a virtual server room. All your expensive hardware, servers, running costs and setup costs are zero. Everything you need; space, protection, maintenance and running is all taken care of by the host cloud company at their base location.
You have full access via an internet portal to everything you need, without all the hassle of temperamental equipment, or any big bills for IT support callouts! It might seem too good to be true, but thousands of businesses world-wide are already reaping the rewards for their investment.
3. Surf Safe
As part of a wise business plan, it’s important to prevent problems, rather than resolving the ones that have already happened. A great way to make your IT budget go further is to make sure that you have browsing restrictions on your internet, and anti-spam software for your email systems. Not only will you dramatically reduce the risk of viruses and IT support needed as a result, but you double your savings through productivity. Thousands of hours are lost every day through battles with spam emails, as well as staff visiting websites that aren’t entirely work related!
4. Don’t D.I.Y
Most IT support issues are caused through faulty systems that were set up by the business themselves. Most companies will see IT as an easy way to cut corners, or choose cheaper solutions at the beginning to reduce their overheads. While it seems like you could do it just as well, there isn’t much room for error when it comes to your important data. Once the professionals have got you up and running, you’ll make up the setup cost in savings in no time. I wouldn’t want to be the member of staff responsible for a heavy IT support bill because of a botched setup, would you?
5. Call-up, not Call-Out
When something goes wrong, and your immediate instinct kicks in, you might be inclined to get a guy in as soon as possible. Panicking in stressful situations is human nature, especially if your data and time is at risk. While it’s normal to want the solution solved as soon as possible, the way to get there might not be to call in the pro. Instead, it might be better to call upthe pro.
A good IT support service should offer you the ability to get in touch via the telephone and help you diagnose the problem. If it may be something that you can solve yourself, then there’s no need for a steep bill due to a technician’s traffic-riddled journey to wherever you are based. This is Simple, but very effective.
Being smart about IT support is a great way to keep your business running ship-shape. Saving money and maintaining an efficient workplace go hand in hand. Stretching it doesn’t always have to mean that you cut down on quality, more often than not, you can spend less, but invest in the right areas, and those 5 top tips will make sure that you’re getting the most out of your IT support budget.
An article by Nathan Griffiths, who suggests http://www.cheekymunkey.co.uk/ will be able to help stretch your IT support budget that bit further.