MonkeyPuzzle Computers: Ilminster, Somerset

Flatten Your IT Spend

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This blog is being written at a time when continuing economic forecasts for Europe and for the UK seem to be nothing but doom and gloom. As a business, we have seen evidence of other businesses continuing to thrive in the present climate but, but undoubtedly the majority are looking uncertainly at the future and are reluctant to spend money where it isn’t absolutely necessary.

Most particularly, we have noticed a definite trend to keep a close watch on IT expenditure and wait until equipment and services actually cause a problem before calling in support, perhaps putting up with a few IT niggles in order to keep costs down. The problem with IT support is that when something stops working, it tends to have a significant impact on a business and requires fixing pretty quickly. IT expenditure tends to come in larger chunks for specific incidents.

One solution to flatten IT expenditure might be to opt for fully managed IT services, paid for monthly with all support included. However many businesses view this move from ad-hoc support to a full monthly plan as simply too great a move financially.

What is needed are additional IT services that provide greater benefit to a company than ad-hoc support, but without the cost of fully managed services.

Remote Support Services

The first option, which in our experience many clients find attractive, is a monthly remote management plan. Paid for via a fixed monthly fee per workstation or server, this would include a range of support options from telephone and email support, all the way up to logging into a PC remotely and applying a fix. PCs are continually monitored and the IT provider alerted automatically should an issue be identified.

Advantages

  • IT expenditure is fixed
  • Support costs are predictable
  • Significantly lower cost than fully managed IT services
  • Potential issues identified early through monitoring
  • Remote support is less disruptive than an on-site visit
  • Remote support can often be performed more quickly than an on-site visit
  • A large percentage of issues can be resolved remotely

Hosted Solutions

On-premises hardware costs money to run, maintain and support. Most often, these costs aren’t apparent, particularly in the case of energy costs. A physical server is very often necessary within a company to run business applications, but aspects of a server’s workload can be moved into a hosted environment. This kind of service is paid for monthly, is completely secure and reduces the burden of hardware maintenance.

Online Backup

Let’s deal with the security aspect first of all, as for many businesses this is the biggest stumbling block to considering online data backup. Via this method data is stored in secure datacentres and usually duplicated in more than one. No-one but you has access to your data and it is encrypted when it travels over the internet. Now that’s out of the way, how does this solution help flatten IT spend?

Compared to more manual methods such as backing up to USB drive or tape, online backup is fully automatic and the user is told whether each backup is successful. This avoids data being missed and the ensuing time and costs while it is recovered.

Tape backup requires regular replacement of tapes and if a drive fails there is a cost in replacement.

Finally by removing data to an off site location, should a major incident occur at the business premises, such as fire, getting the business up and running again is a simple matter of downloading data from a secure website. Often equipment replacement time is a major factor.

Advantages

  • No unexpected support costs for ‘missing’ data
  • Predictable spend level
  • Removes hardware & consumable replacement costs
  • Data recovery is straightforward - no having to replace equipment first

Hosted Email

Rather than manage and maintain corporate email from an on site server, hosted email is available from as little at £4 per user per month. Even micro-businesses can benefit from enterprise level email features.

Advantages

  • Multiple devices can be synchronised to the same account
  • Staff continue to use familiar applications like Outlook
  • Reduces hardware maintenance
  • Email support costs become operating expenditure
  • Advanced features such as shared calendaring

Shared Document Workspace

In addition to hosted email facilities, businesses can benefit from an online shared workspace where company documents can be stored. Also available by monthly subscription, and whilst not a method of reducing IT support costs, this may be an option to allow businesses to work more efficiently and possibly remove the need for an on site server where it is being used predominantly to allow access to shared files.

Advantages

  • Efficiency gains
  • Access from anywhere to company data
  • More efficient & collaborative working possible
  • No need for dedicated outside access to company server hardware
  • May be possible to remove server hardware or delay purchase in growing company

 

*Illustrative prices quoted exclude VAT

Added By: Phil Wright on 22nd Nov 2011 - 14:59
Last Updated: 22nd Nov 2011 - 15:10

Number of Views: 4253
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Contact Details

10 West Street, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 9AB
T: 01460 200 000
E: Enquiry Form