Is your company getting too big to run out of a home or small shop? Is telecommuting/remote access out of the question for security and quality control reasons? If you answered yes, it's time to buy more computers.
Although computer and tech equipment purchases used to represent an investment hurdle for growing businesses, times have changed. Here are a few IT options to help you figure out how to cut down on costs by using virtual computing and file servers instead of physical computers on your premises.
Virtual Machines And Business Flexibility
How powerful does your computer need to be? Not many people know the answer, and the solution for non-technicians runs the gamut of overpaying just to be safe or getting the cheapest option that may struggle to be useful after a year—if it's even useful on the day it's bought.
The real answer is actually fairly simple, but part of a tech culture that isn't often discussed in computer sales stores. Just look at the recommended specifications for all of the programs you want to use, and make sure that your computer is faster or at least matches those statistics. You may discover that a lot of basic systems meet those requirements.
The world of computing has far exceeded recommended requirements for consumer and most non-scientific models, gaming, or graphic design purposes. Because of this, managed IT companies have the opportunity for a specific kind of business: leasing raw computer power.
Raw computer power can be shaped into a program that pretends to be a computer—a virtual computer. It's like carving out a clay block of computing power and shaping it as needed, and managed IT services can do this many times for many companies. They have massive server farms that can create custom specifications.
For you, this means paying a fee for what you need on a monthly or weekly basis. Although there's something to be said about owning your own computer, you won't have to worry about hardware maintenance or buying expensive, overheating power computers that may wear out without perfect maintenance. A standard laptop or desktop will do, or even a mobile device connected to a monitor.
File Servers For Companies Without Servers
Another expensive option is building your own server. Servers require a technician trained in server hardware operating systems, and regular maintenance that far exceeds taking care of a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
You can avoid this with the same virtualization mentioned in the previous section. In fact, if you'd rather keep your own computers or purchase your own file computers, you can simply purchase virtual server hosting for your files. Some people may not care about the maintenance cost of personal computers, but server costs are higher.
Contact a company that offers managed IT services to discuss building a server for your business versus leasing hosted server space, as well as ways to integrate virtual machines to your business plan.