Is it beneficial to outsource your IT department?

abstract-it-guysThere are a number of benefits that small businesses will gain from outsourcing their IT to another company. Small businesses may not have the resources to furnish an IT department with the equipment that it needs, or to employ the staff to work in it. However, they are still likely to make use of the services that an IT department would bring to their organization. This is where outsourcing can be the ideal solution, and it can probably save you money in the process.

Outsourcing IT services can have a number of benefits other than cost.  When a business has a specific IT project that they want carrying out, using an outsourced company will mean that the project is able to be started immediately instead of having to wait while the proper staff is gathered. The IT service company will also have a number of experienced staff that they can assign to the project straight away and this is likely to be their sole focus. If the business has to rely on their own staff for a project such as this then it may have to be fit in around their other duties, which means that the project may not get the attention it deserves.

Another advantage of outsourcing IT services is that the company may also offer computer repair or computer maintenance services. If the business is already a customer of the company then these services may be offered at a discounted price. When computers stop working in the way they should, it can cause a massive disruption to the business, and the problem will need to be rectified as soon as possible. Knowing that they have a company to call on can be a huge reassurance to a small business.

The benefits of outsourcing will vary with the size of the company. The financial benefits may not be as great for larger business that can afford to maintain their own IT department but they may still prefer to take advantage of the specialist knowledge that employees of an IT company may have. Smaller businesses can take advantage of all the services that an outside company can offer which may include computer troubleshooting, repairs to computer equipment, laptop screen repair, or virus removal.

To measure the value of this type of service to your business, you should first talk to an IT service provider in your area. Compare prices and ask for recommendations from other business owners that you may know, feel free to ask the potential provider if they have any clients who would give them a good reference. So remember, the next time you are planning to start a big IT project, try consulting with an outsourced partner to save you time and money.

Common Sense Management of Computer Repair Expenses

sledgehammer-151229_640Computer repair can be one of costliest and time consuming efforts in a small business environment. With much of the focus on the cost of IT services, what is often missed is the downtime suffered and its effect on sales and productivity. Being armed with a certain amount of foresight can minimize both the cost and downtime when computers require repair.

Despite advances in technology, the reality is that every piece of computer technology is subject to breaking or simply wearing down. There is no way to predict exactly which piece of hardware will fail or when. Therefore, a manageable line item in the budget for computer repairs is necessary. Scrambling around to find money to pay for essential computer repair when deadlines are to be met or other critical times only makes the situation worse.

However, there is no need for the small business owner to feel helpless when dealing with technology. It is also not necessary for the owner to become a computer expert since most of their time should be devoted to developing the product or providing the service that is their expertise. There are a number of IT services that can be contracted out and will be available on a 24/7 basis. This makes the budgeting for repair services considerably easier since it will be a monthly or annual fee for providing the services.

A more direct and inexpensive approach is to take advantage of currently available products and services that allow the owner to perform periodic maintenance on their desktop or laptop systems. Often, small businesses overlook the fact that many times their ISP offers a free download of anti-virus software that will protect the systems from any malware that could result in a disabled computer. Depending on the brand and operating system of your computers, there are a variety of free tools available on the Internet that will clean up and maintain your hard drive. Many computers simply have an overload of useless data stored on their hard disk that, when using their browser, cause it to be slow or crash an otherwise normal system.

The best solution is to implement a combination of the two approaches. Maintaining your computer hard disks is a simple and quick process that can be scheduled to perform during non-working hours. An array of packaged IT services are available to suit almost every kind of budget so that you can have immediate help available should you need it. While the size of the budget and the practicality of doing some of the maintenance will depend on the size of the company, there is little doubt of the impact an ad-hoc approach to computer repair will result in lost profits and productivity.

Slow Work Computer? Time for a Summer Clean

pulse-trace-healthy-pcWe’ve all heard of spring cleaning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t clean things up in the summer, too. If you’ve ever owned a car, you know how important it is to regularly service it. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort, but it’s necessary to keep your car in tiptop shape. The same is true for computers, and especially true for computers you use for work. Work computers see an especially high amount of junk and can become sluggish and wheezy before their time. A little bit of love can not only make your computer run more smoothly, it can save you the hassle and time of finding a new computer that suits your business needs. Check out these tips below.

Remove Applications you Don’t Use Regularly

Yes, these even includes those pesky apps that came installed on your computer. There are tons of applications on a computer, and a lot of them you probably never even look at. Sure, keep Microsoft Word and Chrome, but there are plenty of applications that can probably head out the window. Some of these applications might even run in the background without you knowing it, so tossing them will free up RAM as well.

To do this efficiently, sort applications by the last time they were used. Any Windows version after XP has this feature, and it’s incredibly handy when you’re looking for things you’ve never used or only opened once on accident. You can access applications from the Control Panel.

Stop Applications from Booting When Windows Does

There are some applications you probably want to boot when Windows does, like your anti-virus or Skype. However, there are probably a number of cloud services and other applications that don’t really need to be active in the background the second your computer turns on. They use up your memory and cause an incredibly slow boot, any reputable it service company will tell you the same. Most applications have the option of booting them when Windows boots in their Settings menus. If you run Windows 8.1, you can tap the Search charm and select the startup tab to see what boots and what doesn’t…and then slowly ticking them off.

Web Browser Data

How often do you clean out your cookies? Believe it or not, simply cleaning out your cache on your browser can make your computer feel a whole lot more speedy. This is because you probably spend a lot of time on your web browser, and sometimes the slowness has less to do with your computer and more to do with the browser you are using. Simply open your browser, head into the settings, find your history and cache and clear it. Most browsers also have the option of clearing out the cache periodically, and if you forget to do it manually, this can be a great option for you.

If your computer is unnecessarily slow and you just can’t figure out what’s going on, don’t be afraid to find a professional in your area today to help you diagnose your machine.