3 ways for small businesses to save money on IT

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Regardless of what the government says, most business owners feel we’re still in a recession…

“The recession is cutting into small and midsized businesses’ IT spending, and some industries are hurting more than others, according to the results of the latest IT Effectiveness Index (ITEI) survey.

The ITEI is a benchmarking tool that measures the technology effectiveness of small and midsized businesses. (Small Business Trends is one of the partners of the study.) According to the latest survey, the manufacturing industry has been hit hardest, with 66 percent of people in this industry delaying, halting or canceling IT projects, and a similar number reducing capital expenses.

Also hard hit were the communications industry (at 55 percent), wholesale businesses (52 percent) and service providers with 48 percent reporting an IT spending slowdown. Not surprisingly, the computer industry was the least affected — only a third of the respondents in that industry said their IT projects had been affected by the recession. And the woes don’t end there. Half of the manufacturing industry respondents said their IT operations were either understaffed or critically understaffed. Thirty-three percent of service providers said the same, as did nearly a quarter of the respondents in the computer industry.” Source: SMB IT Budgets and Staffing Hit Hard by Recession | Small Business Trends

From where I sit, most small businesses squander money unnecessarily by not thinking about saving money where possible on IT. Here are three easy ways to stretch your technology dollar…

  1. Outsource your email and back office collaboration to Google; Google Apps is a powerful, cost effective way to communicate both internally and externally.
  2. Explore using a Content Management System like WordPress as a website; link it to social media outposts to drive your internet marketing.
  3. Get off the Microsoft licensing treadmill; no one NEEDS Windows 7, in face, most end users haven’t mastered XP and 2003 yet. Consider buying older computers on eBay, using Ubuntu, OpenOffice, and other money saving strategies and tactics.

These are just a few of the many ways small businesses can stretch their IT dollars and smart business leaders look to months like December when much of the world loses focus to implement ideas like these. Let’s talk about how you can start the new year with more cost effective tools for IT…

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