Starting a business can be a costly affair. There’s a product to develop or service to offer, an office space to acquire and employees to hire within a series of departments. But one group of employees is often left off the small business employee roster: the IT department.
Once a mainstay in businesses, the IT department serves as the tech hub of the operations. They are the experts, the go-to problem solvers, the ones that keep things going smoothly. While many large companies still have an IT department — and rightfully so — small businesses are increasingly going the IT-less route.
Today’s technological advances make it easy to replace the traditional IT needs with simple solutions. Even a tech novice can successfully manage the computer side of things without relying heavily on someone to help them along.
Here’s how you can save money by starting a business without an IT department:
Use Cloud Opportunities
The cloud, which refers to online servers and applications that can be accessed from multiple devices, is currently one of the biggest — and most helpful — trends in business technology. Traditionally, companies set up servers in-house that allowed office computers to connect directly to them. Employees were able to access the server and its shared files, but the options were limiting. Setting up a cloud system, however, allows for important data and documents to be stored online. Employees can easily access the files, even allowing for collaboration between individuals that are hundreds of miles away. In addition,cloud technology provides increased scalability, meaning that tweaks can be made to address periods of high traffic without setting up several servers or dealing with a complicated system. The cloud therefore does away with the need for a large data room to house a server, and there’s no need to have someone to sit and make sure the server is running okay the entire day.
Utilize SaaS Options
Cloud computing has also given rise to many Software as a Solution (SaaS) applications. Traditional tasks can be shifted to online cloud solutions. Sites like Outright or SalesForce.com offer small businesses simple cloud applications for bookkeeping and client management, two traditional areas for desktop software. These solutions cut back on the need to install software on desktop computers–which often needs costly updates after a few years–helping you to save both money and time that would traditionally fall on an IT team. In addition, most SaaS cloud options offer support for any problems that arise, meaning you won’t be left in the dark to figure something out.
Cloud technologies frequently create automatic back-ups. For instance, Google Drive provides applications that provide word processing, spreadsheet, and slide show capabilities that, once created, back-up as you work. It’s also wise to make other hard copy back-up of data. External hard drives provide provide large amounts of storage space, while flash drives are also small and inexpensive.
The face of business is constantly shifting with technology. While things might seem more complicated than ever, getting a business off the ground today can be simpler and more cost effective thanks to countless tech solutions. So skip the IT team and get down business.
Felicia Baratz is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media addict living in Indianapolis, IN. As a contributor to ProfessionalIntern.com, Felicia discusses new, innovative technology and it’s relation to the business world and social media marketing.