Small businesses often have small IT budgets—and that doesn’t have to be a problem. As we’ll see in this post, there are several options for small businesses to utilize great IT on a limited budget. Some of these are highlighted in current trends, including the use of mobile technology, cloud computing, and bring-your-own-device policies.
Trend #1: Mobile Technology
Mobile technology—specifically tablets and smartphones—can do anything from take orders to accept payments. With the advent of quality devices at price points of $200 and under, this is a viable option for businesses that don’t need heavy-duty tech (such as a software developer or graphic designer might need).
Want to learn about mobile payments? Read our blog post on the subject.
Trend #2: Cloud Computing
Cloud computing—especially in the software as a service (SaaS) domain—is a cost-saving, readily scalable alternative to traditional computing methods. It has two main benefits. For software apps, like MS Office 365 or Google Apps for Business, you only need to buy as many licenses as you have users. You’re not stuck paying a big-business price tag for a small-business team. (You’re also allowed to pay monthly, so initial costs are quite manageable when compared to spending hundreds on a traditional product.)
Secondly, as an Internet-based service, you can use it to share files and collaborate with anyone anywhere, making it possible to grow your team beyond geographic boundaries.
Trend #3: Bring-Your-Own-Device Policies
Some businesses have a bring-your-own-device policy. This does allow workers to have the familiarity of using their own smartphone or tablet, and it saves the company cash in terms of purchasing enough equipment to cover every employee or at least every workstation.
However, there is a caveat with this setup, and that is the security of using non-company-owned devices at work. Before instituting this arrangement in your organization, be doubly sure that you can manage the security of these devices and meet any compliance and data safety regulations your local laws might require. To learn more about managing mobile security at work, read this post.
Smart Initial Investments Save Money Later
You’ve heard the phrase “penny wise, pound foolish” (or, in our American vernacular, “penny wise, dollar foolish”)? That applies to IT. There are some areas where you don’t want to stint your initial outlay of cash, because it will definitely come back to haunt you later. A few examples of these are:
- Improperly setting up your wired or Wi-Fi network
- Buying subpar, underpowered equipment (for example, an outdated laptop that’s too slow to handle your business-critical programs)
- Failing to update and maintain all devices that you use
- Not investing in a web or mobile presence
- Neglecting to install, update, and regularly use anti-malware programs
- Not having an IT point person to handle routine tasks like the ones mentioned above
In this last case, you’re much better off having someone handle these basic tasks for you as part of their job—especially if you’re not comfortable enough with technology to do them yourself. Yes, it will take an initial dollar or two, but it will save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.
Feel free to contact the team at Techsperts if you’re having problems with your IT systems. From planning to troubleshooting and everything in between, we’re here to help!