Building an IT System for 2014

Why Building an IT System for 2014 is different

(Or how we could do it)

As owners of a small business we know cash is king.  As an IT company we know that having the right IT infrastructure is a real enabler to growth.

We know that these two facts can contradict each other, so what’s the answer?

2010 Offering

By answering this question lets go back a few years, back to 2010 when cloud was still an enterprise level solution and small businesses who needed a decent working IT Platform would look at Microsoft Small Business Server as the solution.  This in turn meant a capital purchase of about £10K which meant that small businesses (e.g. 20 users) either needed to borrow the cash, eat into reserves or lease the equipment, scale it down for less staff but the process was the same.

Suffolk IT

Does your IT room look like this?

What used to happen was a business would have to upgrade their PC’s as you need a ‘Pro’ version of an operating system to connect to the server.  This then might mean an upgrade to a newer version of Microsoft Office and other software applications.  I know that some businesses have been subject to the ‘upgrade treadmill’ and ended up spending a further £10K on PC upgrades and related products for a 20 user site.

Some IT companies would then increase their support pricing to match the new investment and potential increased complexity of the software/services used.  The end result of the best part £20K investment is an IT Platform that is in the office and offers an excellent platform to grow the business, all good!

2014 Offering

It’s now 2014 and the company now wants to upgrade as their sales team is now out and about more and need remote working services.  The server is out of warranty and the PC’s are older with software that isn’t compatible with suppliers and clients software versions.

Does the company invest another £20K?

Well the answer is maybe, but not in one big hit.  In the four years from their first major IT investment the IT landscape has changed considerably and now businesses have more options to deliver modern solutions to meet their needs in monthly billable scenarios.

The business should be looking to replace the server with cloud based services in the Microsoft Office 365 suite.  This gives you a secure platform for Email, file sharing and intranet.  Office 365 gives your users a full version of Office 2013 to use on their desktop machines.  This means that the only one off purchase needs to be purchasing the replacement PC’s.

Office 365By using Office 365, we have simplified our own remote access to our existing sales team, increased reliability, increased performance and increased security.  We have also solved our business continuity issues and created a simple disaster recovery processes which makes it easier and cheaper for all of us.

The knock on effect if clients worked as we do they don’t need expensive IT support agreement any more as they don’t have the complexity of servers, uninterruptible power supplies and backup devices to worry about, it is all done for them via a robust set up.  The only thing left is to purchase up front is new PC’s or laptops.  This reduces the capital expense and stops those BIG OUTLAYS.

So if we look at the numbers we would see the following investment over a 48 month period.

Office 365 Investment over 4 years

Description One Off Cost Monthly

Total cost after 4 years

Office 365 for 20 users £300


20 New Workstations £10,000


Total Investment  



New On-Premise Server and Workstations over 4 years

Description One Off Cost Monthly

Total cost after 4 years

HP Proliant Server Hardware £8,000


Business Continuity Server* £4,000


Server Software £2,000


Backup Solution £1,800


20 New Workstations** £13,000


Office 2013 £8,000


Total Investment



*As Office 365 offers excellent business continuity I have added a secondary disaster server to act as a comparison on features.

**You will need Pro machines to join them to a domain

***The pricing comparison does not take into account any cooling, power, insurance or security costs for having an on-premise solution.  This could add a further £5,000 to this cost.

All businesses are different, this comparison is designed to illustrate the benefits to a small business cloud solutions bring.  PC Futures will work with you to find the best solution, whether it is full cloud, hybrid cloud or full on-premise we will show the likely investment required and more importantly work on a solution that will make a return on this investment in improved productivity.

All in all a business of 20 people still will spend about £25K on IT over a four year period.  Cloud offers a comparatively cheaper way to deliver the IT needed to run the business than an on premise solution.  You also don’t have to pay for it all in one hit.

We know that cash is king and the right IT infrastructure can make you money.  We believe that Office 365 is the solution that can deliver on both of these facts, so much so we use it ourselves.

Ipswich Office 365, building an IT System for 2014

By |2017-10-04T08:06:50+00:00February 17th, 2014|Information Management News, IT support News|Comments Off on Building an IT System for 2014