Cut Costs With Technology

Most of the Wall Street earnings reports coming out these days show a decrease in revenue, but an increase in profits. How is this possible?

By cutting costs. By lowering company expenses, lower income still generates a profit.

We always try to instill cost savings measures when dealing with small businesses. Why spend $400 for Microsoft Office when you can use the free OpenOffice? Why travel on a business meeting when you can teleconference? Why pay long distance phone charges when you can use VOIP?

Several cost cutting measures using technology are outlined in a PCWorld post. They cover things like online phone services, freelancer web sites and offsite file storage and backup.

One tool they cover is ClearApps Network Inventory Advisor. It’s one of those time-saving tools you come across every so often.

Let’s say you have a small business with up to 25 computers and no IT department – how do you keep track of all those computers? For $89 (higher for more than 25 computers), ClearApps will survey all of them, showing you all of the hardware and software (including version!) on each computer, plus give you alerts, like anti-virus not installed or turned off, low hard drive space, etc.

This is a great tool for office managers or computer servicing companies.

Another interesting tool they came up with is called Egnyte. It’s an online file storage/backup service with an interesting twist. For an extra $10/month, you set up an old computer or a hard drive as a file server for your office. By adding Egnyte’s software, it continually backs up all of the files to their server.

That way you have ready access to large files locally, but they’re all backed up offsite. If you lose your Internet connection, no problem. The file server will reconnect and synchronize whenever the connection is restored.

If you just have a single computer, you can opt out of this service and just map a virtual drive to Egnyte’s server for file storage and offsite backups. It’s a little more expensive than, say, Mozy, but it’s worth investigating.