How I Reduced my IT Costs by 500% With Cloud Technology

Imagine the scene, it’s just before Christmas 2009 there’s so much to do and so little time… not a great time for my office server to fall down dead!

So I had a choice, either buy a new server, rebuild the software, restore all my data backup and try to get it going again (that would be 5 days I’d never get back!) OR… I could do something very different.

It was an easy choice, it was time to do something very different!

It was important to get my email working again quickly, time was ticking and I knew that incoming emails were being rejected and bounced back to the sender. After a very brief search I settled on trying out Google Apps… an hour later with a little help from my Internet host my email service was back up and running… and now I could get to it from anywhere and on any computer.

It took a little longer, but eventually I was able to import all of my old email into my Google account too. Now I could search through my old email just like before the server crash.

I was even able to configure Microsoft Outlook to service my Google Apps account, suddenly it was hard to tell the difference between my new Cloud email service and my old server based Microsoft Exchange service.

By the time the New Year rolled around in 2010 I was happily using my new email service. I was very pleased that I no longer needed to backup my email database too, it was all being handled by Google.

I hadn’t solved all of the problems though, other issues had begun to show up.

Jane, my accountant, arrived in the New Year and wanted to access to Sage Accounts and Payroll. I’d got the data but we could no longer share the information because the server was dead… worse still Jane usually worked from home and connected in to my server to work. This was a problem… how could I solve this one? We both needed to get into the accounts and the payroll system, and Jane needed to do it from home.

I’d already decided that I’d never have an office server again so I began researching alternative options. It didn’t take long to find Kashflow.com for my accounts and ThePayrollSite.com for my payroll.

Now my Cloud revolution was really on a roll and to add to my excitement I discovered that Kashflow would cost less than my annual Sage maintenance contract, and it had all of the features that were missing in my basic edition of Sage Accounts! No more printing invoices, everything could now be done instantly by email, it even chases up late payments automatically!

Migrating to a whole new Cloud based payroll system brought a new revelation. I was quite used to the annual palaver of updating my Sage Payroll software; money exchanged hands, disks arrived, an upgrade was attempted but there was often some uncertainty or an issue. With the Cloud based system this is a thing of the past, updates happen automatically, I never have to concern myself with them. The software just works. Full stop.

The final hurdle was to be able to keep copies of all my important files, I also needed to share some files with people outside of my business.

Making backup copies of my files from my laptop was easy, Livedrive.com works so well. It was easy to configure to backup everyday stuff, and I used the briefcase feature to share files between my laptop and my desktop.

Sharing files with others was reasonably easy too. If I wanted to send someone a file then email was fine but larger files, such as images, proved more difficult. The problem was soon solved by using Dropbox, a really useful Cloud based file sharing system. Now I can create a Dropbox folder and put files in it, share the folder with someone using their email address and they retrieve the files from Dropbox at their end.

So how did these changes reduce my costs by 500%?

By the time I’d finished my Cloud revolution I no longer needed a server, so replacement hardware costs were a thing of the past. Neither did I require the dedicated broadband line that connected it to the outside world, so I cancelled that. That meant I didn’t need the dedicated telephone line either, another monthly cost saved. Getting rid of this equipment meant I no longer required the small dedicated office space, so I instantly saved money on my office rental costs. Finally I was able to drastically reduce the size and cost of my online backup because I no longer needed to backup the server.

My IT spend has now become an easy monthly payment which suits my cashflow, and I can scale up or scale down my requirements as and when I need to.

That’s my Cloud story, making my business better and my life much easier. When will you start your Cloud story?

If any of these scenarios ring a bell then please get in touch. Let’s have a 5 minute chat and find out if X10D can help your business be the best it can be.

Posted by on Friday, 20th June 2014 at 1:55pm Comments: 0