It is a common conundrum in business: there are opportunities to do more with IT, but it means spending less elsewhere. If you don’t want to upset the carefully established balance, how do you find savings that fund the way forward? In even the most cost-conscious customer environment, we always look for ways to eliminate overspend and avoid waste. Here are some of our ways to reduce IT costs and increase efficiency:
1. Cloud apps
When staff members find an app that looks cool, they might buy it directly, making for an unstructured cloud IT environment. The outcome is the business spending on many cloud apps that are not used to capacity, and confusion reigns. During a recent customer audit, we found more than 50 apps among 30 staff, and the situation was getting out of control. Data was placed in Dropbox, SharePoint and many other locations, and when it was needed, staff would face a time-consuming search. We were able to put them back in control, saving time and money, not to mention avoiding a lot of frustration.
2. Lack of IT
Sometimes, refusing to spend is a massive false economy. We often see staff spending two or three days putting figures into Excel to complete end of month documentation. Putting in place some level of automation pays for itself very quickly, and staff can be better used in revenue-building activities. For minimal setup cost, you can use APIs to transition data live, and Microsoft Flow can grab the data and put it in another system. The information gives a more timely look at business performance, accuracy is increased, and staffing costs are no longer wasted on unnecessary data entry.
3. Cloud decisions
Many organisations are embracing cloud IT – and with good reason. The ability to scale fast, reduce capital expenditure, and access top-tier infrastructure make cloud an exciting possibility. The problem is when some consequences are not anticipated. Is your internet fast enough? Does cloud have the same functionality? We’ve been brought in to help businesses who’ve found themselves doubling up with cloud and on-premise systems when they needed functionality that was unavailable, or when their internet connection just couldn’t cope. Cloud offers tremendous advantages – but it must be thoroughly checked before taking the plunge, and your internet must be up to the job. See our blog about getting faster internet for more tips.
4. Knowing when to call it quits
We all want to get our money’s worth from hardware investment, but it can go too far. Towards the end of life, a PC is likely to have performance issues, slowing down the user and causing them to mutter furiously every time they wait for it to boot up or load a file. Put simply, people work better when their devices are up to the task. We’re used to upgrading our phones every couple of years – but one of our technicians encountered a nine-year-old PC last week, and it was throttling productivity. We recommend budgeting for PCs to be replaced on a four-year cycle – and there are now many options, including leasing and device as a service (DaaS) to make costing easier, and avoid dealing with depreciation. If you don’t have a plan, you won’t know there’s a problem until frustrations reach boiling point – and that’s not a good place to be.
5. Changing key apps to reduce IT costs
There’s a real knack to making the right software choice, and our specialists take a lot of time talking to users before they make recommendations. In the intricate IT eco-system, making changes can have a butterfly effect, affecting productivity in unexpected ways. Researching the important functions in different parts of the business, and double-checking before making changes, will keep productivity and staff morale high, and avoid spending precious budget on the wrong thing.
Much of the saving potential is about knowing your environment, and regular audits keep you in the know. With visibility, you can make better-supported decisions that have a positive impact on staff… and on your budget.
Is it time to put the brakes on IT costs and free your business to achieve more? Contact our experts to find out how.
Check out our article on reducing phone and internet costs for more tips.