In the first blog in this series, we outlined the key categories of IT spending that your business will likely need to account for, to understand its IT costs. This provides a foundation for predicting and lowering them, finding better alternatives that can offer greater benefits in a more cost-effective way, and help you to find a balance between your ongoing spending and allocating funds to investing into your IT to drive growth and performance.
In a nutshell, the IT spending categories are:
- Hardware and Software Purchases
- Maintenance and Upgrades
- IT Support Services
- Cybersecurity Measures
- Cloud Services and Data Storage
- Training and Development
- Websites and E-commerce Platforms
- Consultation and Outsourced IT Projects
In this piece, we discuss a range of ways to reduce the costs of IT support in your business that can also help you to boost efficiency and performance.
Preventive Maintenance Beats Reactive Maintenance
They say that prevention is better than cure and this is true for your IT environment as well. When things break down abruptly, not only can repairs and replacement costs be higher, but often the disruption that is caused by a computer or server malfunctioning can also cost quite a lot of time and even potentially lost data.
Take care to use monitoring tools for your IT environment, rolling out software updates as and when they become available, and undertaking network audits internally or with the help of an IT support services provider, can help you to move from a reactive approach to a more proactive one that taps into lower costs and enhanced performance in your business.
Optimize Software Usage
Take care to review your software and hardware expenses to see they are being utilized effectively. For example, there can often be unused tools or redundant licenses that are being under-used. Where possible, opt for more multi-purpose software tools that can offer your business more for less.
Consider Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has democratized access to powerful and scalable tools and infrastructure for smaller businesses in Mahoning County and beyond. Cloud computing includes Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which enable you to use host data, files and your services over an internet connection. Cloud computing offers lower costs in the form of:
- Greatly lowered need to make upfront investments into infrastructure such as servers.
- Monthly subscription payment costs on a more precise ‘pay for what you use’ pricing model.
- Removed need to maintain as much physical infrastructure on-premise, this can be outsourced to cloud-services providers.
Explore Vendor Options and Relationships
Depending on your business and its IT needs, there can be more or less scope for getting better deals and discounts from current vendors, and finding new vendors that can offer more value at less cost. For non-profits for example, there is the tech soup platform, which offers them discounts for a range of software and hardware vendors.
It may be possible that some bundle deals or yearly subscription options for your software can offer a relatively lower cost and greater return for your business. Another way is leveraging the partnerships that an IT support provider may have with vendors such as Microsoft, which can offer discounts and more seamless vendor management for your business.
Utilize Outsourced IT Support
IT support providers help businesses to lower costs and enhance performance in a number of ways. They bring the tools and expertise that a business needs to the table, anticipating issues, providing fast and effective helpdesk support, and assisting the business with monitoring, optimizing and managing its IT assets and infrastructure more effectively.
By providing a comprehensive service that brings a range of costs into one bill, it enables businesses to tap into highly scalable and streamlined support that is tailored to their needs at a lower cost.
Implement Effective Cybersecurity Measures
Cybersecurity is in one way an important source of insurance for a business, but due to the frequency of cyber-attacks on businesses of all sizes, it’s also a vital necessity for succeeding sustainably in today’s world. A cyber incident can cause considerable operational, financial and reputational damage to a business; the cost of prevention is always less than the cost of a breach.
Collect Feedback and Review your IT
One great way to lower explicit and implicit costs within your IT environment, is to review it and to get feedback from your team. Where are there slow speeds, inconveniences, and downtime issues? How could tools and technology help your team to achieve more using less? By collecting feedback and getting outsourced audits from an IT support provider, you can find some of the best opportunities for getting more from your IT.
Leverage Automation in your IT
There are a number of automatable processes that can help you to get more from your IT while saving time and costs. You can automate software updates, system monitoring and alerting, and data backups across your business using the right tools, ensuring that your business’s IT is better able to take care of itself with less of a need for manual interventions.
Efficient Energy Management
Where possible, you can implement energy-efficient practices in your IT operations. This includes using energy-saving devices and shutting down equipment when it is not in use. Depending on your premises, you can use smart devices such as motion sensor lights or smart thermometers to ensure certain kinds of energy are used only when they are needed. Not only is this good for the environment, but also for reducing your utility bills.
Utilize Open-Source Solutions
There are many open-source software alternatives that can offer the same functionality as their paid counterparts, but with non-existent or lower price tags! Some examples include open-source data backup solutions like Amanda, and tools such as Nagios for monitoring your IT environment.
Explore and Stay Informed
Does your business know about Microsoft 365 CoPilot and how that is going to transform work? Is it aware of the opportunities for integrating its tools and workflows together more deeply?
By staying informed on the latest trends and constantly looking to drive technological improvements, you can help your business to adapt more quickly and sharpen its competitive edge in a world where innovation and competitiveness are moving in lock-step with each other.
We’re Cyber Express – Exceptional IT Support, Cybersecurity and Technology Solutions for Ohio Businesses
From our home in Boardman, Cyber Express provides IT support, technology management, cybersecurity services and class-leading solutions to businesses across Youngstown, Mahoning County and the wider region. Our approach to IT support ensures our clients enjoy a proactive, friendly and tailored service that addresses key challenges and delivers growth-enabling technology. Get in touch today, to discuss your IT support or computer repair needs. Our friendly team can’t wait to take your call.