The costs of running an IT department, no matter the size, can be large. Especially if you have a complex infrastructure, large workforce, and remote workers.
Many organizations are looking to reduce IT costs right now, and optimize their remote workforce capabilities, but don’t know where to start. There are likely many ways you can reduce IT expenses and streamline entire systems within your organization. We’ll examine the most common problems IT departments face, and how your business can cut costs without hurting your IT systems and needs.
Follow these tips to save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your IT infrastructure.
Do you know how many IT contracts, software licenses, and other monthly or yearly subscription costs you have? Setting up your IT infrastructure was a costly job when you first did it, and it’s probably why you haven’t look back since.
Accounting pays the various invoices as they come in, but a lot has changed over the years. New apps are developed, old ones are set to pasture and more cost-effective methods are created, but you may not have taken advantage of them.
Your first step to cutting costs is to take an inventory of these subscriptions, contracts, etc. and review them. You likely pay per month for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and at the time you created the contract, they may have been the only game in town.
Today, they might have competition and be willing to negotiate your contract for a lower price or you can switch to a new provider.
Examine all the software your company uses on a regular basis – accounting, task management, specialized work, etc. Odds are you’ve been using them for years and never considered changing. Check out other options for these software services and see if you can get something comparable at a lower price.
Don’t forget about legacy and outdated software as well. If you’re still using unsupported software, then it’s costing you money not only in fixing the never-ending issues, but also productivity. These programs are slow and not designed for today’s business climate.
By investing in up-to-date software, it allows your employees to multitask, have less downtime, and requires far less IT support.
Nothing outpaces technology advancements, and if you’re still using computer equipment and servers that are many years old, then it could be eating up your IT budget.
They may have been brand new when you bought them, but that could have been five years ago or more. Have you ever had a car that still worked, but suddenly everything seemed to start going wrong? It’s the same issue with IT hardware. Over time, the cost of maintaining your aging IT infrastructure would cost you more not only in repairs but time and productivity to more than pay for the investment in new equipment.
It may seem counter-intuitive but upgrading your IT infrastructure ends up being a cost-cutting measure over time.
One common strategy to reducing IT costs is using virtualization to make full use of your hardware investment. Consolidating servers and decommissioning hardware is an obvious cost-cutting option. But your organization may already be implementing virtualization in this capacity.
In more recent years, the focus is going to virtualized desktops. With changes in work location, desktop virtualization can help you eliminate costs while making things easier for your employees by allowing them to utilize their desktop from the device of their choice.
You can also save on hardware like desktops and laptops by purchasing ‘budget systems’. Budget systems can get better performance because processing is done on the server end.
You likely know about G Suite and Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365), but do you really understand the power behind them? Most people use the most basic programs that go along with these such as database, word processing, etc., but that’s only a small fraction of the power they have.
You’re likely paying for redundant programs because you didn’t realize Microsoft 365 and G Suite have the same capability with one of their applications. You may be able to replace your phone system and video conferencing software, and you can get rid of paid versions of Slack, Trello, Evernote, and more.
This is all part of streamlining your IT infrastructure and modernizing it. Everything you need can be had from a single suite of tools and a consistent environment, without the hassle of multiple programs.
Interested in a comparison of Microsoft 365 and G Suite? Read our blog.
Does your business still use a standard business phone system? If so, then you likely pay thousands for updating and maintenance of these systems. Instead, choose a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system that uses internet for phone calls.
It not only saves you considerable money, but the IT upkeep is minimal. It also gives you more flexibility by allowing calls to be forwarded to cell phones and provided transcribed messages that are sent to your email, among many other benefits.
If you have an older VoIP system, then you could be paying more than you need. If it uses PRI/SIP, then it’s costing you more than it should. Modern VoIP systems provide many benefits over older systems and cost much less.
When you merge the virtualization features, Microsoft 365 Suite, and a VoIP system, you’re creating a complete virtual office environment. You’ll see productivity go through the roof while IT costs drop.
A proper IT department isn’t just one person, even in the smallest of organizations. It’s usually a team with specializations in IT infrastructure. In this day, it’s nearly impossible to specialize in every aspect that falls under the “IT Department” categorization. In the average enterprise, a small team is necessary at a bare minimum. You will need an IT Manager to oversee everything, as well as a Project Manager, Network Engineer, Server/ Storage Admin, Systems Engineer, NOC engineer, Application Specialist, Wiring Technician, and a Developer.
Are all these people in your IT department? If you’re like most organizations, then probably not every aspect of your IT infrastructure is being managed. You might have one or two, but the true power of the IT department comes from the various specialties of the employees.
If you’re a small business, then it’s almost impossible to have this many employees, and this many bases covered. If you did, they would only be needed occasionally and therefore the bulk of their time would be wasted.
This isn’t the case with a “co-managed IT department” strategy and partnering with an MSP. You get experts who specialize in different functions of the IT department when you need it. If you really want to reduce your IT costs without impacted service, then using an MSP to fill in the gaps is a great option. It will likely improve your overall IT development and help you find ways to further decrease your budget.
There is no doubt in today’s tech-heavy world that a diverse and talented IT department is a necessity for all organizations, big and small.
We’ve outlined a number of methods you can use to help streamline your IT infrastructure, but you’ll need the IT team to help implement the changes.
If you want to learn more about reducing IT costs and streamlining your IT infrastructure, then please check out our many services.