For years, IT has been at the forefront of business administration, productivity, communications, and many other parts of an organization’s efficient operations. For a growing business, it can be rather difficult to know where to invest your capital so that you can get the best ROI or the most value out of your IT dollars. Let’s take a look at how the growing business can use their earmarked capital to improve their business.
One of the biggest investments any business has to make regarding its IT dollars is the purchase and subsequent support of its hardware. Of course, there are more options today than ever before, but even the lowest-cost solutions you can get are going to cost a pretty penny. For new businesses, the bill for hardware is going to be higher, since there is a lot to get. One way businesses are pushing this expense is to utilize cloud computing solutions that provide businesses with the hardware they need, through their Internet connection. Sure, they may not have the physical servers that they need, but as long as their Internet connection is reliable, they will have access to that processing and storage.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some essential hardware components that every business needs. Obviously, the modem and networking hardware such as a router or switch are mandatory even if you plan on outsourcing your business’ central computing infrastructure to the cloud since you will need access to the Internet on whichever device you plan on using to handle the brunt of your business’ technology demands. Along those lines, you need to have some type of workstation that you can use to complete the tasks you need.
Most businesses will have different types of workstations, which can be either PCs, tablets, or smartphones.
Every business needs some type of software. Software not only helps people manage a business, but it is also essential for productivity in operational matters and to keep a business secure. Every business needs management software and presumably a point-of-sale system, but there are many, many different applications that can be used to meet your business needs.
If you consider software as the lifeblood of your company, and your employee’s ability to use that software as the heart of your business, getting the right software for your needs is of utmost importance. Let’s take a look at the types of software a business should consider
- Accounting software – Including solutions that can help manage payroll, and taxes, and to keep effective books.
- Time tracking software – This software is essential for service-based businesses that bill clients per hour or for measuring employee and department productivity.
- Customer relationship management software – An application that helps manage client relationships as well as helps manage business growth.
- Communications software – Communications software can mean instant messaging or email all the way up to an enterprise telephone system with integrated video chat.
- Sales and marketing software – Selling your offering is an essential part of your business and there are many different applications out there that can help push those efforts forward.
For the business that may not want to invest a lot of money, or simply can’t, services can be a good way to get the computing that you need. The two main services that you need to know about are managed IT services and cloud computing.
Managed IT services
Hiring an IT administrator is expensive as there is a major shortage in talent out there so if you were to hire one for your business, you’d be paying a premium. With a managed IT services provider, however, you get access to professional IT technicians that manage and maintain every part of your business’ IT (often remotely), give you an expert perspective, and help you build the IT you need to keep your business growing.
About any type of computing is now available as a cloud-based service and it has changed the way organizations view their short and long-term technology investments. Cloud computing can not only bring high-end, productivity-ready software to your business, it can also expand your storage, improve security, and even handle all of your centralized computing needs. The flexibility brought through the pay-as-you-go structure is valuable, but the major value is in the fact that anything your organization needs, you can get in minutes.
If you don’t know where to start with your IT dollars or (or where to go) with your technology, you aren’t alone. Give us a call today at (813) 749-0895 to get a professional perspective about using your IT dollars in the best way.