U.S. companies have slightly more than $3.5 trillion earmarked for IT budgets, according to the market research firm Gartner. Figuring out how much money you should allocate for IT expenses may seem overwhelming to a small business owner just starting out, but there are IT solutions that can make your business life a lot easier. While you probably don’t have as much money to throw around as the big corporations, you can cover yourself in a way that’s comparable to your biggest competition.
Utilize the Cloud
Cloud computing is more than a trendy buzzword that every IT site wants to sling around. Cloud computing works with remotely hosted servers that work together to provide services such as Web hosting, hosted applications and even entire infrastructures. Instead of buying individual servers for your business use, you purchase a cloud service that utilizes their distributed equipment.
The main advantage for small businesses is the scalability of the cloud computing service. You can start off with a small package, such as a cloud-based application that enables you to pay per user. As your business grows, you increase your service level to meet your needs. You avoid paying upfront equipment costs or overhead costs that aren’t in line with your current IT needs. Cloud service providers also handle all of the deployment and support tasks, freeing up your IT personnel and budget for other projects.
Some companies prefer to use the distributed resources concept of cloud computing while still retaining their control over equipment. This is called a private cloud, and the equipment in it is solely dedicated to your business. If buying enough equipment to set up a personal, private business cloud is out of your small business budget, look into some consumer private cloud solutions such as Western Digital My Cloud. This network attached storage device generates a content cloud for remote access to your business data and other mission critical information.
Sixty-one percent of the United States cellphone market consists of smartphone users, Nielsen found. This gives you a good chunk of employees who have the proper equipment to participate in a BYOD workplace.
When you allow employees to bring their own devices, keep your business safe and secure through enterprise mobility management solutions. BlackBerry has a cross-platform management suite that enables you to give employees the benefit of using whatever device they want to use at work while keeping the entire infrastructure safe from viruses and other security breaches that may occur due to unsecured devices.
Refurbs and Overstock
Keep an eye out on Ebay, Amazon, Newegg and other sites for refurbished equipment and overstock deals. Your local business surplus store may also have leftover equipment from other businesses that are exactly what you need, from servers and laptops to printers and desktops.