23 June

How to save money on your IT

Hardware

Desktops / Laptops

Companies change old PC/s because they’re too slow. But that old machine could be brought back to its original performance by wiping it clean and reinstalling Windows or, if you prefer, the free Ubuntu Linux operating system. Which is often more efficient. E.g. an old laptop that cannot play HD Videos may well play them with Ubuntu.

Older machines often struggle with the latest web browsers and applications, but you can improve matters by adding an extra memory an extra 1GB of ram can be bought for less than £10 on eBay and can have a huge effect on system responsiveness.

Servers
Have you thought about Virtualization? Effectively you can easily run 4 Virtual servers on one new server. You can even do this for free if you purchase Microsoft Enterprise Server 2008 with Hyper V. Not only do you get four server licenses in one. You also benefit from the power saving of only running one bit of Kit. When the BPIF virtualized 12 servers into 4 servers our power and cooling costs dropped by 65%.

Cloud Services
Could you dump your servers altogether? We have helped a number of smaller companies move their Email into the cloud either with hosted exchange or Gmail on your own domain. Combine this with something like drop box or sugar Sync and you have a company shared drive you can even access on your Smart Phone as well!

How about using an Open Source CRM system such as Sugar CRM again this can be hosted as a cloud service so you don’t even need a server. Sugar CRM has many plugins including Helpdesk and Accounts packages.

Software
Could you manage with Open Source Software? Openoffice.org offers a free Office productivity suite. This includes clones of Word Excel and PowerPoint. You can set the default save type to be Microsoft office word, excel PowerPoint. You don’t get Outlook but if you have hosted Exchange email with us we will give you a free copy of Outlook 2010 anyway!

Adobe Creative Suite, does everyone in the office really need it? Costing £1,000’s of pounds why not take a look at this excellent article with links to free alternatives to the popular Suite.http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/say-goodbye-to-adobe-creative-suite/

Anti Virus Software
You Can legally use Microsoft Security Essentials free. This is Antivirus software on your PC’s and Laptops as long as your company has less than 10 users. If you need a free Antivirus software for your server take a look at ClamWin. BTW Windows 8 will ship with free Antivirus built in when it’s available next year.

Sourceforge .net contains the world’s largest directory of free to use software, can you find an alternative to a paid for product you are looking for?

Need a Free Alternative to GotoMeeting or WebEx then try the new www.join.me service provided by Logmein. Telecoms Can you use your new Smart phone as a mobile Internet Dongle for your laptop? This saves you having to pay for two SIMs a month? Does your current Phone system run Voice over IP? Did you know you could have a new brand new phone system for no Capital outlay without the need of having to have any onsite equipment? The Cost savings can be huge.

FINALLY
Change your IT support Contract provider, are you using all the services you are paying for? Are they offering you advice on how to save your IT costs or do they just want to sell you the latest and greatest kit?