Archive

Posts Tagged ‘software’

How To Avoid Suspicious Software

My post sold software you did not pay for, generated the question from several people “how do I avoid getting into the situation in the first place?”  Here are 6 quick tips to protect both you and your data from potential fraud:

1.  Be aware of the “Awesome Deal” A software/hardware deal that sounds too good to be true probably is.  For example: a desktop computer (depending on hardware) with a Windows 7 operating system from Future Shop starts at around $500, and this is without MS Office.  Office 2010 Home and Business is another $350.  Getting the whole package at $350 would be more than a clearance sale.

2.  Purchase from authorized dealers When purchasing software, ensure you or your IT support are purchasing from authorized dealers, whether it’s Microsoft, Adobe, Future Shop, etc.

3.  Always ask for proof of purchase If your IT support is purchasing the software on your behalf, make sure you have a copy of the official receipt from the vendor.  This will ensure that if you ever have an issue with the software, you are entitled to software support.

4.  Always ask for the product or license key Ensure you have the appropriate product or license key (i.e. Microsoft sticker on the side of the computer, a license key within the packaging, an official document from the vendor, etc.).  You should have a valid product and/or license key for each copy of software that you have purchased.  If your IT support purchased the software on your behalf, they should be providing you with proper documentation from the vendor with the product or license key.  Again, this ensures that you can contact the vendor for support if required.

5.  Purchase currently supported software Your brand-new system should have current software.  For example: a system purchased in 2012 should come with Microsoft Office 2010 (the latest release is Office 2010).

6.  Purchase the correct edition for your needs A small business with less than 25 desktop systems would not need Enterprise Edition, designed for environments with 250+ desktops.  A better solution would be Windows Small Business Server Essentials for Windows Server Standard.

These 6 guidelines will help you avoid potential scams and ensure that both you and your data are protected. Have you ever felt unsure about your software?

Why Skimping On IT Will Cost You Money

ImageOne of my biggest challenges as an IT consultant is trying to convince small businesses to upgrade their hardware and software.  IT is looked at as an expense, and because we are all trying to save a few bucks, you may think that keeping your older hardware and/or software is the best cost-saving solution; but trying to hold on to old equipment or outdated software may cost you more in the long run. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. Productivity – If users are waiting for a program to load, or can only run a specific number of applications, they are not nearly as efficient, and worse: they can become very frustrated trying to do their job because the older and limited technology is slowing them down.
  2. Security – As technology advances, so do the threats.  Old and unsupported software may not be secure and patched, therefore putting your data and company at risk.
  3. Maintenance – The cost of keeping old equipment up and running is expensive.  After a few visits from your IT Professional, you could have replaced the equipment at the same cost, and you wouldn’t have to worry about it later on. On average, desktop PCs should be replaced every 3-5 years.
  4. Support – As software ages, the “experts” who know how to manage older software become harder to find, and because of this, will charge more. It also becomes much harder to acquire older components.
  5. Functionality/Compatibility – Updated versions of applications and software are easier and faster to use.  In some cases, older versions of the same software may not be compatible with newer versions.

I am not recommending that you toss out your current IT infrastructure, but I do recommend you evaluate what you own and consider updating/replacing older equipment. Start with a plan to replace/upgrade the oldest systems in your office.  Your IT Pro can help you design a roadmap for updating your systems and software. He/she will be able to assist you in creating cost-effective solutions for your budget, customized for your current needs and workflow.

By taking the time to be proactive now, you can save yourself many future issues, including unforeseen costs, hardware failure, and other unpredictable difficulties.  You never know what could happen when you are using out-of-date equipment; and it is always better to have a plan in place than to be hit with a huge and unexpected IT bill.  Take the 5 minutes and call your IT Pro today to determine how to best protect your company’s future plans.

%d bloggers like this: