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    How IT Can Save SMBs Big Money

    If there is an evergreen discussion theme at conferences or other gatherings of IT managers and executives, it’s on ways of reducing costs while upping productivity. Where IT is concerned, it comes in many guises, and you have probably heard of most of them by now — things like “thin clients,” “virtualization” and “cloud computing.”

    Our Paul Mah compiled this list of recommendations to reduce IT expenditures without sacrificing services. You can read a full breakdown of Paul’s top, plus get lots of links to additional resources, at his blog.

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    Click through for 10 concrete techniques for saving your company cash.

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    The logic here is simple: Electricity costs money. If you could reduce your energy consumption, you’d save money, yes? Unfortunately, this is where sales folks go into overdrive pitching their new-fangled, low-power, “green” IT hardware.

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    Do you know that some large enterprises hire ex-staffers from the telecommunications industry to help them sieve through their communications-related bills for errors? While smaller companies are unlikely to have sufficient overbilling to justify hiring someone to do this, it is entirely possible for SMBs to save thousands of dollars in monthly fees by critically re-examining their voice and Internet contracts.

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    Rather than splurging increasing sums of money to upgrade your storage capacity or e-mail infrastructure, a better way to manage spiralling cost could be as simple as setting prudent limits to your corporate mailbox.

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    The economy might be out of the doldrums, but it’s hardly out of the woods yet. You might be surprised at how willing vendors are to compromise and renegotiate support costs for your continued business.

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    Few would argue against the importance of clear lines of communications in a corporation. While collaboration tools are plentiful, some of them do cost a pretty penny to acquire and implement. Tap into the highly popular – and free – WordPress blogging system for internal communications.

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    Another obvious way to lower costs is to reduce paper consumption in the office.

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    Many of the low to mid-end inkjet printers that SMBs end up buying can be very expensive on a per-page basis.

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    Research by J. Gold Associates concluded that keeping laptops past their prime costs more than it saves.

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    Perhaps it is just not the right time to acquire new laptops for your company. To help you prolong the lifespan of this expensive user-replaceable component, you can properly maintain your laptop batteries so as to maximize their usable lifespan.

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    Finally, remember the management adage that says “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”? Well, the use of SaaS can allow businesses to better define the cost of providing IT, paving the way to better management.

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