One of the age old adages is that time is money. Technology is often heralded as a way to save time but in this article we also look at other ways in which information technology can save you money.
1. Update your current computer
Technology advances at a rapid rate, and your new computer will be outdated within a few months of buying it. A new computeryou bought last year will generally come with less RAM (Random Access Memory) and less hard disk space than the equivalent model purchased now. This is a continuous process and after 3 years, the machine you originally purchased, will be of a much lower specification than the current computers available. This does not necessarily mean that you need a new computer.
If your machine is running slowly, this can easily be improved by simply increasing the RAM and/or hard disk space. This improvement can often make your computer run much better for minimal outlay, enabling you to be much more productive.
2. Only get software you need
Unnecessary software could choke up your machine resulting in slower performance. Only software which is actually used should be installed, to prevent this from happening. For example, Microsoft has two retail versions of their Office Software for Businesses – Microsoft Office Home and Business and Microsoft Office Professional. The difference between these two versions is that copies of Microsoft Access and Microsoft Publisher are included in the Professional addition but not in the Home and Business version; this will save you approximately £200 if you do not need them, which most users don’t.
Various suites of software have multiple versions so you can choose the most cost effective version for your company. Limiting the amount of software on your PC will also allow it run better as the system will have more free memory and disk space.
3. Buy hardware through a reseller
Did you know that you can save money when buying your computer hardware and equipment? Major computer hardware companies such as Dell and Hewlett Packard often sell their products at a discount to computer resellers. These resellers will often undercut the supplier’s list price in order to secure your custom. This enables businesses like yours to purchase the same quality computer equipment, with the same guarantees, at a discount. Resellers can also offer you advice on what equipment you should purchase.
4. Ensure you get the software OEM with your computer
There is a lot of confusion about OEM software, OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer, and this is software that is sold to computer manufacturers to supply with new computers. When buying your software at the same time as buying your new computer, you’ll make a substantial saving, i.e. a basic business computer supplied with Windows 7 Professional and Microsoft Office Professional (+/- £620 Inc. VAT) can be cheaper than buying the retail editions of Windows 7 Professional and Microsoft Office Professional (+/- £649.98 Inc. VAT).
This shows that it can often be more economical to get a new computer supplied with software than upgrading expensive software programs. Your new computer will therefore be faster and use less power, making it more environmentally friendly.
5. Multifunction and Network Printers
Having a multifunction printer means that you need less office equipment, less power to run the hardware and also have fewer requirements for peripheries such as toner. A multifunction printer can combine a fax machine, a photocopier and a scanner all in one.
Networked printers could save you money if you are a business having small inkjet printers on every desk. A decent laser printer could be costly initially, but save you money in the long run as replacing inkjet cartridges which run out regularly, for the 10 different printers in the office, will be expensive. An added benefit to having a networked printer is people generally have to walk to pick up their paperwork, and therefore will only print what they really need.
6. Paperless Office
Another way to save money on printing is to become a paperless office. Software that allows you to save documents as PDF’s is freely available and then the documents can be archived either on the office server or in a remote location across the internet. There is software available to email invoices, fax to email and even digitally sign documents; there is no longer a reason for your business to keep tons of paper documents, these can all be stored and distributed electronically.
7. Backup your data
Backing up your data is one of the most important, yet also one of the most neglected areas of computing. It is so easy to lose data when critical files are accidently deleted, or lost, damaged by miss operation or even a virus or a hard disk failure. If this was your accounting data or customer records, what impact would this have on your business? Could you company continue to operate as normal? Losing data in this way is more common than you think, and can you afford to be without this critical data?
Although generally data backup is considered an unnecessary expense, it really isn’t. Of companies that had a major loss of business data, 43% never reopen, 51% close within two years of the loss and only 6% will survive long term (Figures taken from - Hoffer, Jim. "Backing Up Business - Industry Trend or Event." Health Management Technology, Jan 2001). To ensure you that you stay in business, is it not worth backing up your data?
8. Outsource your IT support
Outsourcing some of your business functions can save you money in the long run. One of the best business functions to outsource is your IT, especially if you are a small business. These days it is cheaper to outsource your IT as opposed to employing a dedicated in house person. This option is always more effective, as a team of technicians with specialist skills will be able to solve issues more efficiently.
VoIP is promoted as a cost saving technology, but it not only saves you money on your phone bill in the form of reduced line rental and cheaper calls, it can also increase your productivity as well. VoIP Phone Systems offer a large number of features that would generally cost you extra when using a traditional business phone solution. These include but are not limited to, call routing, virtual switchboard, direct dials, flexible messaging and convenience dialling.
Call routing transfers the incoming call to the next available person specified in the call route, should the phone be unavailable. When out of the office your calls can be transferred to your mobile or a phone at another location, ensuring that you do not lose any customer calls. Another useful feature of a VoIP system is that calls between phones within the same organisation are free of charge even when spread over remote locations, whether a separate building, different city or someone’s home.
10. Remote Workers or Telecommuting
Telecommuting allows people to work collaboratively from different locations; this offers a wealth of opportunities for small businesses including cost savings. Businesses with flexible working options often see increased staff retention and loyalty, reducing recruitment and training costs.
Overheads decrease as less office space and peripheries are required. Utilising modern technology such as VoIP phone systems, online tracking software and smartphones makes the transition to remote working smoother. Also many workers are willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for telecommuting.
So in a nutshell technology can save you money by:
Making your workforce happier
Databax offers professional data backup and it support solutions to individuals and organisations, please get in touch for more information using the contact form below or call 0844 543 7501