The cost of implementing, managing and maintaining IT spending is one of the most challenging tasks any modern business faces. And like any expense, constantly searching for ways to minimize it is crucial to the long-term success of a commercial entity. But unlike other areas of expenditure, making significant cuts is often a highly complex process — fraught with potential for disruption and lost sales.
But there are a few quick-wins when it comes to reducing your business IT spending — you just need to know where to look for them.
1. Virtualize and Consolidate Your Servers
Don’t pay for servers that you’re not going to utilize fully — which is a mistake a lot of small business owners are still making today. Instead, adopt virtual servers that consolidate your total capacity by making applications share existing servers. This one move can slash capital expenditure within your IT department, and cut the costs of security, maintenance and repair.
2. Consolidate Systems and Software
As businesses grow, so do their IT infrastructures. Over time, these systems can become disjointed and inefficient. For example, imagine all of the employees in your IT team are expected to create their own documents. You might find that there are several word processing packages in operation, along with several different storage and email solutions. By consolidating these services within a new ERP platform, you should be able to make the processes involved more efficient — and cheaper.
3. Implement a BYOD Policy
More and more firms are slashing their IT budgets by implementing a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy. For example, rather than splashing out on new phone contracts and laptops for your team, you can provide a small cash incentive for people to use their own devices. This, combined with a move to cloud-based business platforms, should deliver significant IT spending savings on both hardware and software.
4. Leverage Bundled IT Deals for Discounts
The average IT department has, at the very least, phone and internet charges to cover. But by bundling these together and buying them as a package from a single supplier, you might be able to secure a hefty discount. It may also be possible to add other services such as VoIP, mobile services and security to the bundle.
5. Outsource Support
Maintaining IT systems and repairing them when things go wrong is usually a complex, specialized job. A lot of firms hire employees to take care of these tasks and to oversee data security issues. But the cost of employing specialists directly is often prohibitive. In most cases, outsourcing this area of IT is the most cost-effective option for SMBs. When support is needed, help is usually available via email, live chat or a 24-hour telephone helpline.
6. Switch to the OPEX Cloud Model
There’s a cloud-based software platform for just about every business function imaginable. Whether you’re managing your business’ tax affairs or nurturing leads, the software you need is available on remote servers — for a relatively modest subscription charge. Switching to OPEX-based cloud services reduces your reliance on hardware, and cuts the cost of data security, malware protection and maintenance (all of which are included in the price).
Before you make cuts to your own IT budget, consult with an IT spending specialist from us at EaseTech. We’ll talk you through your options, based on your business’ specific requirements. This should allow you to trim your expenditure without adversely affecting your operations or the service you provide to your customers.