Everyone in business these days uses a computer. In fact most people have a computer at their home as well as the office. These are great tools to get repeating tasks done quickly so you can go back to doing what you WANT to be doing. Here are seven ways your computer is costing you money.
1. Slowing down production.
There are a number of ways that your computer could be slowed down. Many have heard the buzzwords of Viruses, Malware, and Bloatware. These are just some of the examples of programs that could be running in the background on your computer. There are a number of other reasons why your computer could be slow. Some of the planned updates from software venders could also increase the minimum requirements to run their software and in turn slow down the computer. The computer itself may be older and due to the changes to the operating system has become slower and slower reducing your productivity. A good example I like to use is the load time for QuickBooks and Microsoft Word. Most people know that MS Word takes around 20 – 40 seconds to load on most computers and up to a minute to load on slow computers. QuickBooks can take from 45 – 90 seconds to load on most computers and up to three minutes to load on slower computers. But what if you could get those times to 1 – 6 seconds? How would that change things? After researching the number of times people load just these two applications on a weekly basis, having a fast computer can reduce your time waiting (without productivity) by 3 hours a week. Now multiply that by the hourly rate of the person using that computer and you can see some real savings.
2. Stealing computer use.
This one is usually a hard one to explain. You bought the computer to complete certain tasks. But sometimes certain programs can be running other tasks and use your computer to do it. These tasks could have been provided to your computer by a website or a cute new screen saver usually without your consent. But when enough computers are using the same program they are able to work together to accomplish tasks (usually financially motivated) These seemingly harmless programs increase your power usage and wear and tear on your computer to run tasks like mass email, data mining, or virtual currency mining. These programs also use your internet connection and can reduce the speed of your internet.
3. Phantom devices
These days, computer users are used to installing a new device. Just plug into any USB and wait for the software to install. But each USB device uses more and more power from the computer. Some, like wireless devices, require batteries. Most computer users do not use each of these devices every day. In fact 80% of users that purchase a scanner have only used it once a year. (But they kept it plugged in and using power every day.) Even if the device does not use external power, it is using power from the computer. This will increase the draw from the power supply and more wear and tear on the computer. (One of the reasons we don’t suggest charging your cell phone with the computer)
4. Energy use
For most business use we suggest leaving the computer on all the time, while using an energy saving profile. But did you know that using a screensaver adds $25 to $75 a year to your electric bill? You can reduce your power usage dramatically just by reducing the brightness on your monitor by 10%. Many aspects of proper computer maintenance can reduce the energy use of the computer. Cleaning up your data and deleting outdated old files can increase the life of your hard drive. Defragment the hard drive monthly to reduce the energy needed to get to your files and increase performance at the same time. As you create, delete and download files to your computer, the computer will split up and store pieces of data in various spots on the hard drive. The more fragmented the hard drive is the more time and energy it takes to access the scattered data. Defragmenting a hard drive will allow all the data to be stored more efficiently and reduce the energy and time to access the same data.
Most internet users know that cookies are used by websites to store and remember your details without coping and storing that data on their systems. This provides a more personal approach to the website. This can be used to remember data that you don’t have to enter in a second time, it also stores preferences and information like how many times you have visited a certain page. Some sites can use this data in a more negative way. In the retail and sales world they can use this data to determine your interest level in their product. In some cases a website may even increase the price of a product from one visit to another to present a sense of urgency that if you don’t buy now it may cost more later. (We see this on airline and hotel pages most often) Removing browser cookies can reset how that website looks at you. You would have to reenter all your data again, but you get to begin the sales circle with the reduced rate.
6. Computer Crashes
When a computer is stuck and stops working a staff person spends time trying to fix it. Most of the time when a computer is down it is costing your company 3 labor hours of work. The first hour is the person that uses that computer. The second is a co-worker that is trying to fix it, and the third is the moral support person that is just there to hear about how bad it is and say they understand. With just two lockups a day at 10 – 15 minutes per lockup you are losing $3,000 – $10,000 per year depending on the hourly wages to your staff.
7. Wasted Time
There are a lot of time wasting items on your computer. Everything from junk email to Facebook games are all intertwined with the tools you need to do your work. Finding ways to avoid getting stuck wasting time with web surfing, and other tasks that get you away from doing your work. Even reading the latest news stories can eat up hours of your business day. Now if you apply this to your business and staff you can see some real wasted dollars. Do you have an “Acceptable Use” policy for your employees and persons that use your computers? Can you afford each of your staff to “web surf” for 30 minutes or an hour each day?
There are many ways your computer can be costing you money. Each and every situation is different. There may be different ways to save money based on the type of technology you use and your configuration. But the key is to have someone who is knowledgeable about your systems and how you use them that is able to find ways to save money allowing you to keep focus on your goals.
About Your Computer Solutions Inc.
YCS has been servicing both residential and business clients over 20 years. We are based in Orlando Florida and have onsite clients all throughout Central Florida and remote clients as far as New York and Hawaii. We pride ourselves on not only ensuring our clients are happy, but being the trustworthy, knowledgeable and systematic solution that is easy to work with. To learn more about our services and ways we can save keep your computer from costing you money visit our website at www.yourcomputersolutions.net or call us at (407) 826-0810.