Getting good veterinary advice is easy – vets have high standards of training, industry and ethical standards. Put simply, if you ask your vet for advice, you can be confident that the advice will be sound.
Unfortunately the same can’t always be said for the IT industry.
In tech experience and training can vary and all too often commercial motivations take precednece over what might be best for the customer. Your telco is hardly going to ring you and let you know that you can disconnect your fax line, after all.
So here’s our top 10 handy IT tips for vets. Please share your tips in the comments!
- Turning it off and back on again will probably do the trick. From a PC that’s running slow or an Internet router that won’t work – msot of the time a reboot will indeed get it working as normal. Just remember to properly shut it down and restart it if it’s a computer.
- Broadband overage fees are for chumps. Broadband quotas are so 2005. Ring your ISP and tell them that if they won’t give you unlimited broadband at no additional charge then you’ll switch to someone who does. They’ll ususally comply to keep your business. If they don’t then find an ISP who will.
- Providing free wifi to your clients is easy. Once you’ve got unlimited broadband, that is. Look for a wireless access point (WAP) that supports the creation of a ‘guest’ network – you use this to provide clients with free WiFi without letting them access your own network.
- You don’t need a fax machine anymore. Seriously. You’d be surprised at how many vets still rely on faxes for lab results, etc. Almost all of them could save themselves $40 per month by asking their suppliers to email instead of faxing documents and cancelling that fax line. There are also fax to email services that cost peanuts that allow you to continue receiving faxes (to your inbox) without a fax machine.
- You don’t need to spend $300+ on Microsoft Office. Why waste all that money when products like Libre Office are free and Google’s excellent Google Apps suite (which lets you edit Microsoft Office documents online) costs only 5 bucks per month.
- It’s easy to have email addresses that have your clinic name in them (e.g. ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’) The part after the ‘@’ is called the domain and it’s really easy to replace your ‘gmail.com’, ‘yahoo.com’ or other generic email address with one using your own domain. You can then redirect messages from your old generic email account to your new personalised one.
- You can back up your PC’s for only $5 per month each. Check out BackBlaze.com. There’s no limit to how much you can back up.
- It’s usually cheaper to replace old computers than to continue to ‘sweat’ your assests. Older, slower computers cost more to maintain and inhibit productivity. Consider refreshing (replacing) your PC’s every 5 – 6 years.
- Passwords are important. Don’t stick them to your monitor! Changing passwords regularly isn’t as important as choosing passwords that are hard to guess and using different passwords for different services. Always use a unique password for sensitive services, such as online banking.
- Finally, you don’t need a server. Is maintaining IT infrastructure, managing backups, etc. your core business? Didn’t think so. Servers are like fax machines – they’re a relic of a bygone era. Choose apps that are secure, cost effective and cloud-based. Focus on buying equipment that drives value for your practice.