Tech Commandment #3: Bigger Isn’t Always Better When it Comes to the Cost of IT

Minneapolis IT support company Tech Guru presents the third in a ten-part series called The 10 Tech Commandments of Business.

Tech Guru CEO Dan Moshe has worked with his valued clients for long enough to lay down some rules when it comes to technology and business.  Last time, Dan covered Tech Commandment #2: Tech Doesn’t Solve People Problems, It Exacerbates Them.  This week, Dan explains why a fat wallet isn’t always necessary when it comes to improving tech for your business. 

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Software: Options Abound

Whether you’re looking for CRM software or a program to simplify accounting, there are likely to be several choices to solve your problem.  “Sales software is some of the most expensive cloud software you can get,” says Tech Guru CEO Dan Moshe.  It’s extensible – there is plenty you can do with it – but it’s very complicated.  For some small businesses, high-cost options are not always a good fit.  Some programs, like Salesforce, can run $125 per person per month.  If your organization has simpler needs, you might find an affordable $10 program like Nutshell works better for you anyway.  Don’t spend more than you need at any given stage of your business.

Hardware: Pay Extra for the Label

Computer hardware is a different story: often, you get what you pay for, and cost is relevant to quality.  Certain name brands, such as Sony, IBM, and Lenovo, can (and do) charge more for the name.  Like fancy designer jeans, after a certain price point, one computer is not much better than another.  Sony is one example where “they have some cool-looking stuff,” says Dan, “but you pay a premium for that.”  Some would argue the same for Apple products, but Dan disagrees, “I’d argue you get your money’s worth with Apple.” 

Evaluate Your Specific Needs

Especially crucial before making a large financial commitment is to discern your company’s needs from all angles.  To complete the new Conference & Training Center at Tech Guru’s offices, Dan was on the hunt for a flat-panel TV.  “I could have easily spent $2500 to pay more for a glossy screen, 3D, and Hi-Definition.”  But realistically, they just needed a basic panel to accompany training seminars.  A glossy panel would have been terrible in the light-drenched room, and in the end Dan bought a TV that performed better for their needs for $1200. 

Pull Back the Curtain

Technology has advanced quickly over the years, and Google now brings tech users endless services for free or cheap.  Google Apps for business is an email provider for business.  While some companies benefit from hosted exchange, that route costs twice as much.  For Tech Guru’s offices, Google Apps is a no-brainer.  “We wanted something to work on Mac and PCs, easily, with a large mailbox size, and we didn’t want to maintain Microsoft Outlook anymore,” explains Dan.  It costs significantly less when you look at the total cost of ownership of that software (another Commandment for another time!).  “It’s a better fit for us because it’s faster and integrates with our apps more easily.” 

Consider the True Value

Dan’s advice when it comes to cost is simple.  “Don’t value something based on price.  Instead, base it on your scenario and the value you can derive from the product or service.” 

Tech Guru loves helping clients figure out how to get their tech needs met for the cost that fits the company’s budget.  Get in touch with Tech Guru today!

Check in next time when we talk about Tech Commandment #4: There are No Dumb Questions in IT.

Dan Moshe helps business owners in the Minneapolis area with all things tech, and is the CEO of the Caring IT company Tech Guru.  He cares about your business as much as you do!