Since the dawn of personal computing and the internet, computers have been an integral part of most businesses. The store important data and handle everyday tasks. And, in some places, they control enormous machinery and tools. The Digital Age is well and truly upon us. So, it’s time to get savvy or get left behind; especially as a business.
Without the use of IT, a business will struggle with most everyday tasks. Other businesses will use computers as their main form of communication with you, making it very hard to work with others. And, it will be incredibly difficult to keep up with modern data protection rules, without computers to manage it. So, you need computers. But, you don’t know where to start. That’s alright, though, because this post will teach you near enough everything you need to know.
Before you start buying new computers or ordering server space, you need to take a look at your business. The size and type of business that you run will dictate the type of system that you run. For example, if you have five members of staff, it would seem logical to get five computers for them. But, if you only ever have two or three members in at one time, you’ll never need that many computers.
Of course, this extends to other parts of your business, as well. If you are a company that only deals with customers face-to-face, you probably don’t need much storage space on a web server. But, if you only deal with customers online, you will. You need to think about how you will intend to use your IT services, and how much you really need. Getting computing gear is usually expensive, so it’s only worth buying what’s required.
A lot of people will struggle at this point. Finding features that match your business type can be very difficult. The best way to find services is through some in-depth research online. Say you’re looking for some large online storage for your business. Using a search tool for look for the best options will yield loads of results. A lot of review website compile their own rankings for business software. So, you can see which options are the most highly rated. This will take a lot of time and patience to be successful. But, to help you out, here are some of the more popular business services out there.
Nowadays, a lot of services offer all-round coverage for most business’ needs. These services will cover your software, emails, online storage, conferencing, office resources, and much more. This marks them as a great starting point for a small business in IT. Microsoft’s Office 365 for Business is a great example of a tool like this. It offers extensive features, most of which can be paid for separately. This gives you a great way to make savings. You can pay for services monthly, making it easy to grow your business without hassle. And, they’re very affordable. This makes a tool like this extremely powerful. They’re definitely not worth ignoring, especially as a small business.
Unfortunately, these all-in-one packages usually only provide a meager amount of online storage. Of course, for a lot of businesses, this is enough. But, if you deal with big data, you may need somewhere else to store it. In the past, online data storage was incredibly expensive, and even more so as you need to store more. But, today, prices have fallen greatly. The price of storages devices has gone down. And, this has brought the price of storage with it. Livedrive is a great example of a company that provides a service like this. Depending on how much data you need, different companies may be better for you. Generally, cloud storage providers will offer anywhere between 500GB to 100TB+ in storage. This gives you loads of options, at loads of different rates. You just have to choose the right one.
A lot of businesses use specialist software to get their jobs done. These aren’t usually included in a service like Office 365. Instead, you have to source them yourself. Well, in the past you did. Nowadays, resellers that specialise in selling to businesses can supply all of the software you need. This ranges from things like accounting software to video game development tools. These companies are usually local, so it’s one that you’ll have to find for yourself. But, once you do, getting your hands on software at the best prices will be a noticeable improvement.
For services like Office 365, you can rely on the support that the provider gives you. Most of them offer 24hr phone lines that have agents with a wealth of knowledge at the other end. But, you can’t use this solely. You also have to think about your internal systems. Hiring an IT support staff member could be the best way for you to solve this. But, that depends on the size of your business. If you already have more than ten employees, it’s probably worth hiring someone. Anything below that, though, and you should look for other means.
IT support can be bought from other companies at a reasonable rate. Problems have to be handled over the phone, most of the time. So, it could be a little more challenging. But, it will be much cheaper than hiring a staff member. Doing something like this will give you loads of options, as well. You won’t be limited to the person you hire; but, you’ll still receive service as if you have hired someone. Of course, this will cost money. But, the IT support benefits outway this for most businesses.
At the end of all this, you may still be left feeling confused. The world of IT isn’t for everyone, and it can get a bit challenging. Thankfully, for people who really can’t do it, there’s another option. IT consultants are everywhere. You will usually be able to find one locally. But, if not, you’ll definitely find one online. A consultant can do all of this for you. They can assess your business, and figure out what it needs. They will suggest services and hardware that will best suit your business. And, some will even offer support for your IT once the job is done.
Having a consultant review your company will ensure that you get the very best tools for your business. You don’t have to worry that you’ve made any bad choices, because you have the wisdom of years of experience behind you. You should choose a consultant based on their success with other companies. Most will show customer testimonies on their sites, giving you a great chance to get an idea of how well they do their job. And, some will even display a record of their success.
Ultimately, investing money in IT for your business is a great way to make the future much easier. At some point, you will need computers for your business. Starting as early as possible will take away a lot of difficulty. And, making sure that you only choose the best services in the long run. All of these things can make for a better business. You just need to do some work.
Hopefully, this will clear some of the fog surrounding IT. This field can be very confusing for people who haven’t experienced it before. So, looking for help is a good thing to do. Make sure that you’re fully aware of what you’re buying whenever you make an IT related decision in business. It’s easy to fall into the trap of paying for services you’ll never use.