Starting your own business in this modern world means shaking hands with, and embracing the latest technology. There are a few businesses that may avoid the need for it, but for most it is essential. Offices these days need to be interconnected with local, and remote, networks that span the globe.

If you are thinking of starting your own business, here is some of the equipment and software you are likely to need.

Equipment

Most of us are familiar with computers and peripherals now so the terms here shouldn’t phase you when reading this list of required equipment.

  • Workstation Computers. These need to be mid range computers with networking and internet capabilities. They often work as terminals to the main servers.

  • Main Servers. These are powerful computers that are at the heart of your network. They will rout emails and other communications, have massive storage facilities for files, and may be local or remote depending on your needs. The server may turn out to be your biggest expense.

  • Network Printers. There are cheap printers on the market, but they are designed to use ink as quickly as possible, and they break down if used heavily. Invest in good network printers that will withstand prolonged heavy use.

  • Photocopier. Using the copy button on a printer is expensive, and the results are not perfect. Invest in a good photocopier where the toner cartridges last longer, and the quality of the copies is high.

Software

Now there is an important decision to be made. Do you buy and install your own software or use online software? There are free online applications for daily office tasks that work perfectly well and more specialised applications that are available for a reasonable price. Recently launched web based hr software is a prime example of high quality software that will never charge for updates or suffer from malicious attack.

Here are some basic office applications that are either available to use online for free, or that can be downloaded and installed on your local machines.

  • Microsoft Office (Install)

  • Apache OpenOffice (Install)

  • Google Docs (Web)

  • Microsoft Office Docs (Web)

If you require more than the basic office applications, there are solutions for almost every task to be found. Software development is big business and just because an application hasn’t been created by one of the big players doesn’t mean it isn’t just what your business needs.

Installing software locally has issues. As stated earlier, businesses are constantly under attack from viruses and malware. The big players on the internet are in a far stronger position to wage this war than you are and their applications and cloud based storage are far more secure if you implement strong passwords.

There is also the issue of cost. By using online software and services, the whole business could move to the cloud and save thousands of pounds on servers and local systems. It begs the question; is there any need for local networks now that the internet is available to every business? There is a strong possibility that more businesses will be cloud based than not within the next ten years. Maybe you should jump on the bandwagon from the very beginning and design your office around the cloud, saving you thousands in setup costs.

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link to source (flickr)