As the old saying goes: You have to spend money to make money. While this is not always true, it is true that all businesses require the investment of funds. Otherwise, they are not able to grow and will become stagnant. Unfortunately, many small businesses just don’t have the capital with which to fund any real growth. But, as another old saying goes: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. With that attitude in mind, let’s look at some affordable IT investments that you can probably manage.
Consider The Use Of A Virtual CIO
A CIO (Chief Information Officer) is tasked with all tech-related decisions within a given company. For the most part, their job is to make sure that the company stays updated on all the latest technology. This includes things like making sure the latest software is being used and keeping up with all the latest cyber-threats.
Here’s the problem: Many small businesses cannot afford to hire a full-time CIO. At this time, the best solution seems to be the use of a virtual CIO. A virtual CIO does all the same tasks but does them on an as-needed basis, functioning much like an independent contractor. That means one less salaried executives, which obviously saves money. Of course, you need to find a virtual CIO who has experience in your particular industry. Without that specific expertise, you could end up wasting your money.
Adoption Of The Cloud
Cloud computing is one of the biggest trends in computing today. Because of the unprecedented convenience and connectivity that it offers, most large businesses have adopted it for general usage. In fact, according to these statistics, most of the major companies (about 81%) are doing this already.
The cloud will normally save your company a lot of money on data storage/hosting costs. You will no longer need to have a dedicated server for your organization, as the cloud provider should allow you to use theirs. You won’t need to spend a lot of money on disks and drives for backups because the cloud will make and keep them automatically. That being said, you should still maintain physical backups of your most crucial data.
Put Security First
This one might seem counterproductive because it will involve some costs. Overhauling and improving your security is never free, but it doesn’t have to break the bank, either. For instance, if you cannot afford a paid VPN service, you might consider the use of OpenVPN. This is a network encryption service that is user-run and completely free to use…but only if you know how!
Either way, security needs to be a priority if you want your business to grow. Data breaches can be ridiculously expensive, and many small businesses are not able to absorb such costs. According to these statistics, the average data breach will cost a company between $1.2 million and $8.1 million. For a small company, the losses are likely to be on the lower end, but it’s still probably a lot more than you can afford.
Consider The Use Of A Managed Services Provider
An MSP can be a big money-saver because it takes all your IT-related bills and puts them under one flat monthly rate. This includes IT staff salaries, as well as the costs of servers and most of the other equipment that runs the network. Your managed services provider replaces all of that stuff, and will thus probably save you a lot of money.
We should specify that a cloud provider is often also a managed services provider. This allows you to consolidate your bills even more, so it’s probably a good thing to consider. An MSP will also offer certain specialized IT support and services as well. For instance, some of them offer “managed print solutions,” which remotely manage and maintain your printers and their software. There are many IT consulting firms in NJ so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a good one.
Invest In The Right Tools And Tech
This is another one that seems more like an expense than a money-saving opportunity. However, on closer examination, we find that investing in the right tools and technology can actually save money in the long run. First of all, we should consider the problem of obsolescence. Computers tend to become obsolete rather quickly (every two years or so), and this will create a need for patches and other upgrades. By the time you finish paying IT staff to upgrade everything, you will probably pay more than the cost of new tech.
One thing that you can do about this is to lease or rent your equipment. Obviously, you will have to crunch some numbers to see if this is a cost-effective option for you, but many companies have found it to be useful. Although this does add another monthly bill, it has one serious upside. When your rented equipment becomes outdated, you can simply rent something else. By removing those gigantic replacement costs, you will probably make it easier for your business to grow.
These are difficult times for many businesses, especially smaller ones who have less capital to risk. That’s why it is essential to trim those costs any way that you can. We have given you five effective ways to do just that, but there are many others. Remember this: Working harder is good, but working smarter is even better. This attitude will surely help you to grow faster and avoid many common pitfalls. If you appreciate our hard work and good advice, we ask that you please fill out the contact form.