In today's business environment, having your IT infrastructure in tip-top shape is no longer an option if you want to minimize downtime and provide the optimal customer experience to stay competitive.
However, the cost of IT can get out of hand if you don't keep an eye on your budget and spending.
Recent events have shown the importance of keeping your IT systems strong. So many organizations simply weren't prepared for the shift to remote work in 2020, and some have had to shut their doors for good. For business owners who continue, a reduction in IT operations costs may be needed.
75% of the participants in a recent survey think that "time, money, and, resources spent on ongoing [IT] maintenance and management are affecting competitiveness." Thankfully, IT is not as much of a "fixed cost" as one may be led to believe. Here are a few things you can do to "trim the fat:"
Switch To Cloud-Based IT Services
We've talked recently about preparing for a remote post-crisis world, and this should include your IT department.
Cloud-based managed IT services will save you time, money, and stress.
On-premise storage and software solutions often require substantial upkeep by a sizable team. There's often a large upfront investment for the infrastructure (e.g., servers, server room) and you may have to purchase capacities that you don't need at the moment in anticipation of potential expansion.
With cloud-based services, you can eliminate the upfront cost and only pay for the level of service or capacity as you need them.
The maintenance cost is often substantially lower as well because you don't have to hire a team of full-time employees to keep things running.
Implement IT Automation
Many IT maintenance functions can be automated using software managing systems to reduce the cost associated with ongoing repetitive work performed by IT staff.
In fact, one study has found that IT automation can lead to a 66% cost reduction.
Some of the IT tasks that can be automated include job scheduling, system monitoring, patching, service provisioning and configuration, and application service delivery.
This automation can be applied to more hardware and software than you think! If you're using a cloud-based telephony provider, they can handle things like updates and softphone management across your entire network!
Conduct a Software Audit
Chances are you're paying for software licenses you no longer need. Running a software audit can help you identify expenses that you can eliminate from your IT spending.
For instance, you may be using an expensive software for a small subset of functions, which can be performed equally well with a lower cost alternative.
Or, you may realize that you're paying for a software application with features that overlap with another tool you're using. With a little juggling, you may be able to streamline and roll everything into one platform.
If everyone is communicating and transferring files on different software, it can be an IT security nightmare. Don't forget about internal messaging platforms as well.
A software audit can show you things like how to maximize your Office 365 subscription by using the included Microsoft Teams for file sharing and messaging.
IT Support Services for Small Business
The IT landscape is shifting rapidly, and reducing expenses is on the mind of many. From system integration to cybersecurity, it takes a high level of expert knowledge to ensure that everything is up-to-date. It can become very costly if you have to hire experts to cover every aspect of an IT operation.
More and more companies are realizing such need for specialization and shifting their IT responsibilities to a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
A great MSP can do so much for your business while providing the cost savings you need. They can help you ensure that all your systems, operations, and networks are running at peak performance while allowing you to scale up or down, your IT support as needed to avoid having a large overhead.
In fact, a recent survey found that many businesses cut their IT budget by 25% or more when they took advantage of managed IT support from a trusted provider.
It's important to hire a good IT consultant who can help you design the right IT strategy from the get-go, recommending the latest technologies that will meet the needs of your specific business.
Contact us to learn how your business can cut IT costs while excelling to new heights!