We get it. Managing a budget for your firm’s IT needs can be stressful! Navigating so many requirements, options and providers can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing. What items can be negotiated based on price, and what items should you be investing in for the best-in-class solution? Here is our list of the 5 items worth the extra dollars when making IT purchases:
UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies)
UPS’s are batteries designed to keep your servers running. Did you know that in the event of a power outage they can power down your servers when their battery level is running low? Powering down servers is a critical process that must be done in a specific order or it can negatively impact your computer systems and cause problems when turned back on. Now UPS’s are designed to be “smart”. SmartUPS devices allow power to be remotely monitored. Alerts can be sent when power is lost or returns to the office. This allows the ability to gracefully power on and off network equipment.
Just like your car, warranties on servers and other equipment should be in place and kept up to date. Without these support contracts, any repair on your equipment could cost you hundreds, if not thousands of extra dollars. Many warranties come with various time frame levels for response and replacement. Think through how long your firm can go without critical processes to determine which service timeframes are below an acceptable level. Lastly, don’t forget to include in your purchase planning decision a scenario issue that happens on a Friday night since most contract language speaks in terms of business days. And remember, equipment that can no longer be covered under a warranty needs to be replaced as soon as possible!
The easiest and most popular way for someone to steal your firm’s money, files, and reputation and potentially costing your firm hundreds of thousands of dollars is to send an email to an employee pretending to be someone that they know. Security training teaches your users to be aware of the tricks scammers like to use. Security training is the easiest and most cost-effective way of preventing these types of attacks.
Years ago, phone systems were never considered part of your IT budget. Now, they are cloud based and integrate with your computer systems with features that allow your staff to make calls from anywhere just like they were sitting at their desk. These systems are worth the IT budget spend given the productivity gains they provide a firm. Additionally, you may potentially save on your internet bill.
Document Management Systems, Cloud based
These days there are numerous document management systems available that store all your files in a protected space in the cloud. These systems give you easy filing of your clients’ documents. Plus, plugins (and added feature set) are now available that allow you to file an email and attachment straight from your Outlook. With these cloud-based systems, your client files are accessible from anywhere and from almost any device making Cloud based Document Management worth the spend.
Hilltop Consultants is here to help you navigate your IT purchases. We work with our clients to recommend and research the best options to meet your needs… and your budget!
Author: Daniel Williams, Director of Network Administration