5 cost-effective ways to improve business efficiency

Posted on by Richard

In this article we’ll take a quick look at some cost effective changes that can be made to any business network to improve the speed and efficiency and so get the job done quicker.

None of the changes are expensive and all can pay for themselves through improved business productivity

1) Add Extra RAM

Modern programs such as Microsoft Office have so many more features than a few years ago and are therefore much more resource hungry. What may have once have been a healthy amount of RAM in a PC can now fall way short of what’s needed to run modern programs smoothly.

A PC running modern applications should be looking at a minimum of 2GB of RAM but ideally 4GB. A quick test will determine the maximum amount of RAM that the PC’s motherboard can support, together with the specific type and the cost of upgrading.

RAM costs are currently very low and this is one of the most effective upgrades to speed up your PC. Give us a call to arrange an online RAM test and we can quickly tell you the maximum that the PC can take and the cost of upgrading.

2) Change to Gigabit networking

Transferring files around the network at up to 10 times the speed allows the job to be done much quicker. Where a file may once have taken 20 minutes to transfer from one computer to another, with an upgraded Gigabit network it would take around 2 minutes.

The existing Cat5e cable that holds the network together is capable of transferring data at Gigabit speeds, so there is very little disruption involved in upgrading the network and as the cost of Gigabit network cards and switches have fallen to affordable levels within the past couple of years, this small outlay can be quickly recouped through an increase in production levels.

3) Add a secondary “extended” monitor

Having the ability to switch between programs without minimising can hugely improve production as there is no need to continuously toggle between one program and another. With dual monitors it’s possible to have email open on one screen whilst simultaneously working on a spread sheet on another without having to continuously switch between the two.

Setting up a secondary monitor is very easy, but does entail the extra cost of another monitor and possibly a dual output graphics card. In most cases however this extra cost can be quickly recouped through the enhanced productivity that having a dual screen brings.

4) Change wireless network to 802.11n

802.11n gives wireless networks more speed and range than the original 802.11b and 802.11g standards, allowing files to flow around the network more quickly and the coverage to be extended much further. Typically 802.11n allows for transfer rates of up to 300Mbps compared with the earlier 54Mbps and a typical range of double the earlier standards.

Along with greater coverage comes an increased risk of unwanted intrusion, so a wireless network should be secured with WPA/PSK encryption as a minimum. The older standard WEP security can be cracked in as little as 5 seconds with the right tools, so if you need help with beefing up your wireless security give us a call and we’d be glad to help.

5) Upgrade to a Solid State Drive

With no moving parts, a solid state drive is more akin to a large memory stick than a hard drive. It has much quicker read and write times and is completely silent. The cost of SSD’s has significantly reduced in recent years, to the extent that they can now be used as replacements for the more traditional mechanical hard drives for large capacity data storage.

Solid State Drives are perfect for use as boot drives, as the start-up time for the Windows operating system is typically 400% quicker in benchmark tests than a standard hard drive and SSDs doesn’t suffer from fragmentation in the same way that conventional hard drives do, so the performance of a SSD does not degrade over time.

For any help or advice on improving your business productivity, give us a call on 01332 929421 or email us on support@tabcomputers.co.uk and our team of experienced technicians would be only too happy to help.

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