How can Small and Medium sized Businesses save money on their Computer purchases and hardware purchases without buying a whole lot of trouble with inferior products?
We’d all like to pay a bit less and save a few quid but we don’t want to get caught out!
A lot of these decisions come down to common sense and also a little understanding of what your computer network requires.
So for example if you have an office of 15 Staff and you use general Microsoft Office Software, and accounts software on 2 computers and maybe database software on 5 computers and all use the internet (which pretty much sums up many offices) then you don’t have a very demanding office and don’t need to buy the most expensive equipment.
Using a standard router that your Internet Provider gave you for free is usually acceptable for a few Businesses but remember it was FREE! It will be a very basic piece of hardware, may not be totally secure and may slow your network down. Also these free routers are not very configurable so you may find that it doesn’t always do what you want it to do.
A fairly good quality router with a firewall that is serure enough for most small businesses and will be able to handle any configuration that you are likely to need will cost you around £250.00
Now a network switch can cost from £20 to £3,000 or more and depending on how much network traffic you have will decide on how much you need to spend. We quite often hear that staff using accounts packages find it takes a long time to run reports over networks and also the transfer of large files take a while especially if a few users are busy with data on the network.
For average use, a 24 port network switch for 15 users will come to around £200, however if you are graphic designers or use a lot of large images then you will need to spend £400 – £500 on a switch because a cheaper one will leave you sitting there twiddling your thumbs.
Now although network cabling is not a big expence, some people don’t realise the importance of it being properly installed and certainly NOT draped around the office and walked over or having chairs rolled over it. You’ll save a lot of money now and in the future by having a solid network cable installation, computers going off line, slow networks and intermittent faults are all common with poorly installed network cabling.
A server can work out to quite a lot of money for a Small Business and is quite an important investment.
A lot needs to be considered when purchasing a server, you’re likely to be relying on it for a good few years so you want to get it right first time.
Now a business with 15 users could get away with a server for as cheap as £1,000.00 (hardware only) or you may need to spend £5,000 if you’re data needs are more demanding.
We would always recommend a top branded server such as HP, good quality hard drives and enough RAM to keep up with your needs. You’re always welcome to call us for advice relating to servers or any other computing needs, whether you are a current Client or not – advice will always be free!
This is usually where you can save quite a bit of money if you don’t need very high spec computers.
Although it’s nice to have top branded computers in your office, if you’re doing basic computing work such as emails, word processing, internet etc. there is no need to be spending out too much.
A lot of suppliers offer their own brand of computer at a greatly reduced rate. Just because their own brand is on the outside of the box it’s unlikely that their own brand will be on the components. If the components are of satisfactory quality and of a good brand, as long as the specification is up to the job – you’re going to save some money.
It would be wise to take advice first before you buy and we’re always happy to help.
A good quality monitor makes good sense in any office, we spend a great deal of our day looking at the monitor so it needs to be easy on the eyes.
There can be a huge difference in cost between “no expense spared” and “recession aware prices” but sometimes saving a few quid up front can cost a lot more in the long run
Call us any time or send us an email if you would like a quotation for any of our services or hardware installation and we’ll make sure you get the best possible deal