As a business owner, you need to make sure your company is using the best IT solutions in order to stay competitive and secure. This is one of the reasons why you need to update software and replace hardware regularly. However, upgrading your IT can be expensive — especially if you’re a small business on a tight budget. If you want to upgrade your New Jersey business’s tech without breaking the bank, follow these tips.
1. Plan wisely
Don't just upgrade your tech without a strategy, as this is a sure way to go over budget or misspend your resources. If you plan your budget wisely, you can save a lot of money on your IT upgrades.
The first thing you should realize is that a full technology overhaul isn't always necessary. Before making any major purchase, assess your current technology and identify what needs to be improved in order to achieve your ideal IT setup. Make a priority list of the most critical upgrades and work from there.
Once you have a clear understanding of what needs to be done, you can research the most cost-effective way to make those changes. For example, instead of purchasing new hardware to boost a computer system's security, you can instead install software updates that come with improved security features. You can also look into various "as-a-service" offerings available in the market, which are often more affordable because they're subscription-based and, therefore, have a lower upfront cost.
Look into various "as-a-service" offerings available in the market, which are often more affordable because they're subscription-based and, therefore, have a lower upfront cost.
Additionally, it's important to keep future changes in mind when planning your budget for IT upgrades. By considering potential future needs, you can save money by making decisions that will accommodate future growth. For example, buying servers with more storage than you currently need may seem like an unnecessary purchase now. But it will save you money in the future especially if you're expecting your business to experience rapid growth and require greater computing capacity.
2. Invest in cloud-based solutions
Cloud-based solutions are becoming more popular among companies of all sizes. Not only are they more affordable than traditional on-premises solutions, but they are also more scalable and flexible. This can save your business a lot of money on upfront costs, as well as on maintenance and support costs.
Another benefit of the cloud is that it allows businesses to access applications and data from anywhere using any internet-connected device, increasing business efficiency and agility without incurring additional operating costs.
3. Choose open-source software when possible
Open-source software (OSS) is a great alternative to expensive proprietary software. Not only is OSS usually free to use, modify, and distribute, but it’s also constantly being updated by a community of developers to ensure its stability.
When you use OSS, you don’t have to pay for licensing fees or royalties. You also have more control over the software since you can customize it to fit your specific needs. Some examples of open-source software for businesses include the popular content management system WordPress, the office suite LibreOffice, and the web browser Mozilla Firefox.
4. Take advantage of free trials, discounts, and promotions
Free trials are a great way to test out new products before buying them. You’ll want to find an app or software that you’re interested in using, and then see if there are any free trials available. Once you’ve found something that fits the bill, take advantage of it right away because free trials usually run for a limited time.
Keep an eye out for special promotions, too. Many companies offer special discounts on their products, so it’s worth keeping tabs on them to see what’s new. Promotions can also be a great way to try out new products that you would not have considered otherwise.
Also, take advantage of any available loyalty programs. If you frequently use a particular app or service, it pays to be a loyal customer because some vendors offer loyalty rewards like vouchers and special offers.
5. Get the help of a managed IT services provider
Partnering with a managed IT services provider (MSP) is a great way to enjoy the latest technologies without spending a fortune. For one, MSPs have their own IT infrastructure and subscriptions, eliminating the need to purchase these yourself. Most MSPs’ services are also more affordable than leasing or renting equipment. On top of these, MSPs often have connections with trusted vendors, allowing them to provide discounts on products and services.
At Online Computers, we will work with you to understand your specific needs and then create a custom solution that fits your budget. We’ll also provide expert support and ongoing maintenance so you can focus on running your business instead of worrying about your technology. You will only pay for what you use and be billed a fixed monthly fee, enabling you to better predict and manage your operating expenses.
The costs of IT upgrades can be steep, but by following these tips, you can upgrade your IT in a way that fits both your needs and your budget. If you need a hand in anything tech-related, our business IT experts are always ready to help. Contact us today.