For many businesses, technology is an enigma. Does it help things run smoother, or does it cause massive hiccups that disrupt the flow of business?
If you aren’t careful, it’s the latter.
The key to taming the wild beast that is technology is to generally understand how each part of it works for you. Once you fit the pieces of the IT puzzle together, you can use your technology to propel you forward rather than hold you back.
Here are three ways to save your SMB money and improve the way you work.
1. Consolidate Your Tech Tools
Many organizations overlook a simple fact – they have too many tools. That can be true for both hardware and software. For example, you may have multiple servers taking up space and running up costs.
Moving some of your applications to the cloud can consolidate the amount of hardware you need while lowering your costs in the process.
The same is true for software – you don’t need to pay for multiple software licenses if you can find a platform that can do it all for you.
Consolidating your technology also inherently decreases labor costs due to simplified management. In other words, you don’t have to spend a long time managing multiple things if they’re all in one centralized location.
2. Look for Potential Efficiencies
Paper costs add up. Printing costs vary, but remain expensive in large quantities. Even when getting rid of sensitive physical information, secure shredding and disposal costs can quickly rack up.
Utilize digital copies and methods whenever possible. Going digital instantly frees your organization of many unnecessary costs.
Technological efficiencies don’t just exist at the file/folder level, either. Turning your office space into a “smart” office connected by an internal network gives you better control over all your devices.
This concept of interconnecting devices is known as the internet-of-things (IoT). Organizations are using it as a way to efficiently manage costs related to lighting, heating, cooling, and much more.
Did you know? IoT endpoints will grow to 30 billion by 2020.
3. Get a Proper IT Partnership Going
IT support is a very broad term to say “we do IT stuff”. So what exactly does that stuff entail? Anything, really – from day-to-day helpdesk tickets helping Cheryl with her emails to migrating the server to the cloud.
The question you must ask yourself is this: do I need an in-house IT team? Or, if you have one, ask yourself this: Can they really do it all by themselves?
For smaller organizations, outsourcing the IT makes sense. You get a team of experienced professionals at a flat rate without having to hire, train, and variably compensate additional employees.
For larger organizations that have mission-critical in-house IT departments, outsourced IT specialists are key. They can save you money by following through on projects for a set rate. You don’t have to hire a network specialist to configure a few servers here and there.
Proper IT partnerships can cut costs and put capital back in your company where you need it most.