Do you need help buying new IT equipment for your business?
As a small business owner, you have to make decisions every day about a multitude of different things, including your IT resource and requirements. We talked in a previous blog about the benefits to small businesses of outsourcing an IT department to service providers like the experts here at SquareCubed. The fast-moving pace of technological change can be difficult to keep on top of, especially if you are not a techie! One area where the expertise of an IT service provider can help to make the right decision is in the recommended specification of your new IT equipment to fit your business requirements. So, if you need help buying new IT equipment for your business and don’t know where to start, and your business is located in Yorkshire or Lancashire, contact us so We Can Help you to make the right choices.
Things to consider
There are many factors to take into consideration when you are buying new IT equipment for your company, which many business owners find overwhelming. Let's take a look at them starting with what most business owners consider to be the most important:
IT budget for new hardware
You should already have a plan in place for hardware replacement and how much you are going to spend. Outdated systems are inefficient, and if your IT fails to keep up with your business needs it will cost you more money for maintenance and downtime as key functions take longer. In addition, if the equipment needs to be ordered, installed, configured, and tested before it can be used, you may not have the resource in-house to achieve this quickly and efficiently.
An IT provider gets to know your business and understands its requirements. They are experts in their field so are aware of new tech, what is available on the market and at what price, so they can help you to select the right solution for your budget.
If you need help buying new IT equipment for your business, managed IT support services may have relationships with certain suppliers or be able to negotiate so you can buy at a discounted price or know where you can make other cost savings you may not be aware of. Because they are experts, they will also be able to install and configure new equipment quickly, with minimum impact on your core business functions.
If you know what equipment you have at any moment in time, you can schedule when they will need to be replaced. For example, you may decide to replace phones/laptops every three or four years. Knowing what equipment you have, when it was purchased and when it should be replaced will help you to forward plan your expenditure.
If you need help buying new IT equipment for your business, your IT service provider can be on the lookout for new equipment at the right time, saving you the headache of deciding what specification you need and trawling through suppliers for the best prices.
Match new IT equipment to your business needs
You may like the look of the latest equipment on the market, but if it doesn’t meet the needs of your business, you are just wasting money.
Assess the IT needs of the core functions of your business, taking into account where it may be failing now. Talk to staff members to see if they have problems with the equipment they are using currently, so you can take that into consideration. Always make sure that you buy appropriately for your needs. For instance, buying the latest high spec trendy computer just to handle appointment booking is both inefficient and wasteful.
On the other hand, you may spot a bargain that you think will fit your business requirements perfectly. But that bargain can cost you in the long run as it fails to keep up with the pace of change in your business. Slow running computers cost you time, money, and lost customers. Buying cheaply is a false economy in the world of technology. If you are unsure what equipment you need, you may buy something that isn’t suitable, leaving you with another headache to sort it all out.
If you need help buying new IT equipment for your business, this is where the expertise of an external IT provider can save you time and money. They will be familiar with your business processes and can offer timely advice about the tech you need now. They are also fully aware of new products on the market and what developments are in the pipeline, offering you peace of mind that your business has the ability to fulfil your growth strategy while keeping pace with technology for the foreseeable future.
Make sure that ongoing maintenance is planned into your overall IT budget. If your equipment is not installed or configured correctly, it will cost you more in ongoing maintenance.
An IT service provider can be on hand to install and configure new hardware and make sure any patching, upgrading or IT maintenance is undertaken in a timely fashion, with less impact on resource, lower ongoing costs, and minimum downtime.
Are you thinking about replacing your legacy systems with apps in the Cloud? Changing the business strategy will have an impact on the choice of IT hardware. If you migrate your core business services into the cloud, will you need the same IT hardware? Or will you need to re-evaluate?
Talk to your IT provider about cloud migration and the impact this may have on the spec of any new hardware you purchase. They will be able to advise you about cloud migration, how to stream or automate your core business processes, and scope the hardware you need to achieve maximum efficiency with minimum downtime.
Keep up to date with technology developments
IT for business changes at a rapid pace. Think about all the accounting software and chat functions that have hit the market during the last few years, or the streamlining of sales and marketing functions with advances in customer data handling.
It can be very difficult for owners of small businesses to keep up with new developments or advancements in tech. However, for IT experts, this is part of their everyday job. You can use their expertise to find new ways of doing things to improve the customer experience of buying from your business.
If you need help buying new IT equipment for your business, we hope that this blog has highlighted some of the things you should take into consideration. There is a lot to think about, so if your business is in Yorkshire or Lancashire and you have no idea where to start with scoping new hardware for your business needs, We Can Help! Contact the experts at SquareCubed to discover more about our managed IT support services, and how we can help you when buying new IT equipment for your business.