Technology is remarkably important to just about any business endeavor, so it stands to reason that you should be especially scrutinous with your IT spending so you get the most out of your investment. If the total cost of ownership breaches what you deem affordable, how can you expect to get a return on your investments? Let’s go over what your business needs and how that translates into costs for your company.
Modern businesses still consider the centralized network to be the norm, and on it, you’ll find all of the usual solutions, including email, databases, security solutions, and data backup. There might also be some endpoints, including workstations, laptops, and mobile devices. Most businesses cannot go more slim than this. In fact, some organizations have moved major components of their infrastructures off-site to the cloud so they don’t have to worry about maintaining a major in-house infrastructure.
Other than the servers and endpoints, there are components like modems, routers, switches, printers, and so on which enable your organization to fully leverage the tools at its disposal. Additionally, businesses often opt for security systems, digital signage, and other solutions which require further hardware investments.
Scaling this technology while your business grows is difficult at best. Some organizations might see VoIP as a worthwhile investment, while others might not see the immediate value it provides. The same can be said for CRM or ERP solutions, security systems, productivity suites, cloud storage, and so on. With so many cloud-based options available, organizations are able to avoid the up-front costs associated with implementing new technology, but what they don’t realize is that the TCO might actually be higher for these solutions than expected. Still, the idea of a recurring expense rather than a large initial investment is attractive for most businesses that have limited budgets.
Furthermore, businesses today use online marketing platforms in the digital space, like their websites and social media profiles, the cost of which will depend on several factors. All of this coalesces into an IT spending budget that is remarkably difficult to calculate accurately.
How Does Small Business IT Deployment Look?
Small businesses spend more on their IT than larger businesses do. According to Gartner, most small businesses, which make up over 99 percent of surveyed companies, and nearly 83 percent of total IT dollars, will spend upward of six percent of their revenue on IT, while larger organizations typically spend around three percent of theirs. This means that smaller businesses are more in a bind when something happens which threatens their technology infrastructure. Larger organizations might be able to eat the costs, but smaller ones struggle with this.
Despite this, the market for IT looks pretty strong, with one survey showcasing that technology spending for small businesses has grown 4.8 percent in the past six years, and it’s expected to grow another 5.1 percent in 2023.
Large businesses don’t pay as much per worker, but they are also aware of technology that can reduce downtime, manage company data, and cut management costs. Large businesses are more able to jump on the implementation of such solutions because of their ability to spend more on IT, leaving small businesses in the dust.
With the right solutions, however, a small business can see just as much success as a large business, and it’s all thanks to innovative new technologies that help them make the most out of their existing assets.
What Does a Small Business Need?
There are certain technologies that can make a small business’ time with technology investment and management easier, and you don’t have to dedicate funds to emerging technologies to make it so. Here are some tried-and-true basics that all small businesses should have.
- Security Suite: There is so much that can go wrong as a result of a data breach, and so many possibilities for your business to be put at risk of one. Keep your business safe with comprehensive antivirus solutions, firewalls, content blocking, and spam filtering tools. These systems can be automated and monitored to ensure that they are performing to your standards without too much time investment on your part. By keeping threats away and downtime low, you can focus on getting the return on investment you expect from your technology.
- Backup and Recovery: Your business cannot function without its data. You need to have a plan in place to back up any data to the cloud and to a secure off-site data center, while also providing you avenues of recovery that can keep downtime to a minimum.
- Cloud Storage: Cloud storage is another must-have, as you can access data stored in the cloud on any approved, connected device. It makes all the difference for business owners on the move or remote employees, and with so many cloud solutions on the market today, we bet there is something out there for everyone.
North Central Technologies can help you manage your IT budget and get your solutions in check. To learn more, call us today at 978-798-6805.