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Cost-effective tech options for growing businesses


For startups and small businesses on a tight tech budget, it’s vital to focus on their most urgent needs, like cybersecurity, AI, and data management.

Paul Oppong, an expert in project management, warns that with so many options available, it’s easy for these businesses to feel overwhelmed.

“Naturally, each technology provider will be reiterating the importance of their own system, and businesses can become confused about what they actually require to function effectively,” Mr Oppong said.

“Rather than considering the products themselves, I recommend business leaders first consider their specific requirements, and that would depend on the industry and the business itself.”

The challenges businesses face include: 

Keeping data safe from cyber-attacks using tools like firewalls and encryption. 

Managing data efficiently with tools like cloud storage and CRM systems. 

Streamlining processes with AI and automation tools. 

Staying compliant with regulations using compliance software.

Mr Oppong suggests businesses balance their budgetary constraints with their technology needs a few different ways.

After prioritising their technology needs and focusing on the most important ones first, businesses should research the technology options available, as well as cost-effective alternatives to expensive software and hardware.

“I encourage businesses to consider using free tools for project management, file  sharing, and collaboration. Another useful option is lease hardware and software instead of buying it outright. This can help them reduce their upfront costs and spread out their expenses over time,” Mr Oppong said.

“New businesses can outsource their technology needs to third- party providers who can provide the necessary services at a lower cost. For example, they can outsource their IT support or cloud computing needs to a third-party provider.” 

Mr Oppong gave examples of the most affordable technology options.

Open-source software: Open-source software is free to use and can be a great option for businesses that are just starting out. Some popular open-source software options include Linux, Apache, and MySQL.

Cloud computing: Cloud computing services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform can be a cost-effective way for businesses to scale their operations and reduce their IT costs.

Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS applications such as G Suite, Office 365, and Salesforce can be a cost-effective way for businesses to access the software they need without having to invest in expensive hardware or software licenses.

Free online tools: There are many free online tools available that can help businesses with tasks such as project management, file sharing, and collaboration. Some popular options include Trello, Google Drive, and Slack

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