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As a small business we’re always looking for ways to lower our overhead. How can we be more efficient? Operate on a leaner budget without sacrificing our business model or operations? Here are some quick tips to help lower your IT costs, while maintaining an efficient and reliable IT infrastructure.

Contract Your IT Services. You’d probably be surprised how much you’re spending on hourly IT support. What’s worse, your IT support costs are constantly fluctuating from month to month. By contracting your services into flat rate, fixed monthly fees, you’ll lower your overall total cost of operation (TCO) for your IT.

Pro-Active Support. Add up all of those times that you’ve called IT support for a problem after the issue has occurred – reactive support. Now take into consideration the additional costs not always obvious such as wasted employee time, bad customer experiences, idle wait times. Downtime can have a big financial impact on your business beyond just the cost of repairing the issue. With pro-active support your IT systems can be monitored and issues resolved before they turn into costly downtime.

Standardized Software & Hardware. Multiple operating systems, different hardware. A network with a mixture of hardware and software can create additional IT burdens that can cost you added fees in IT support. Standardizing your hardware to the same manufacturer and your software to the same version of the operating system and programs can help in maintenance costs and troubleshooting time.

Remove Administrator Rights for Users. By removing you the ability for your staff to install and configure software on your company computers you can help mitigate unnecessary issues caused by software. Oftentimes games, toolbars, music players and other software are installed on business computers that have serve no purpose to the daily functions of the business, however they add an additional burden and an extra layer of troubleshooting for technical support.  Also, malware can often be attributed to software downloaded on business computers.

Use A Paid, Business Class Anti-Virus. Slow computers are usually attributed to unnecessary software and / or malware / viruses. By using a trusted, business anti-virus you stand a batter chance of being protected against additional threats, therefore reducing time spent troubleshooting virus related issues.