Deciding your basic IT requirements

IT is essential if you want to run a successful business, and getting the right computer system will make the process much simpler. As well as the usual hardware - computer, printer, and so on; you will need to make sure you have the right software. This guide will help you determine your IT requirements.

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Protecting your data

Hardware

The most important hardware decision you will have to make is choosing whether to buy a desktop or laptop computer. A desktop will be cheaper but if you want freedom to roam or make presentations to clients, a laptop is indispensable. You will probably need a printer as well - decide whether you need the speed of a laser printer or whether an inkjet will suffice. You also need to consider whether you will need a scanner or photocopier, but for many start-ups, these aren't necessary.

  • Decide whether you need a laptop or a desktop computer
  • An inkjet printer will probably suffice
  • Consider whether you need a scanner or photocopier

Software

Which software you buy depends upon your industry, but it's highly likely you will need a good word processor, spreadsheet package, and decent accounting software. Keep in mind that while this software sounds expensive, much of it is available to download for free as Open Source software, which will probably be adequate for your business while you're starting up.

  • The software you buy depends on your industry
  • You will need a word processor, spreadsheet package and accounting software
  • Most software can be downloaded for free

Protecting your data

The Data Protection Act requires that you keep your data safe, so make sure you keep it as secure as possible. Protect your computer and any sensitive files with a password, and make sure you stay vigilant if you ever need to take data out of the office. Losing data could also be devastating to your business, so make sure you  back it up regularly.

  • Protect sensitive data with a password
  • Stay vigilant if you take laptops or memory sticks out of the office
  • Back up regularly

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