5 Ways To Save Money in Your IT Department
I recently spent an afternoon touring a handful of houses with my local realtor. At the end of the day, the top two contenders were a modestly sized (and very affordable) ranch that would fit my immediate needs, but definitely not accommodate my family in the future; and a much-too-large (and pricey) new build that came with 2 acres and a 3 stall garage. The latter was a stunner, and while it’s far too much for me now, it will fit my family’s needs perfectly in the future…. Or will it?
After much debate, I’ve found myself with a classic case of the Goldilocks syndrome. If I could just find something in between I would save money and be able to perfectly match my family’s needs both now, and in the future. But the bigger question at hand is, what does this have to do with technology?
It’s simple really. The idea of saving versus splurging applies to all aspects of life, including how your business spends money on technology. In an ideal situation, we go for the mid range product that serves all of our current and upcoming needs for a fair cost – buying more wastes money and buying less requires additional (and potentially costly) upgrades later.
There are many ways to approach cost savings in IT. Over the years things have become somewhat muddied as cheaper alternatives have flooded the market and it can be difficult to get a handle on which way you should go. To that end, here are a few suggestions on how to buy just what you need, and ultimately save money in your IT department.
- Know what you need. While it may be tempting, the newest, flashiest computer might be more than you need. There may be a cost-effective solution that exceeds your needs; but have you ever really sat down and defined what your needs are? If your system only needs Internet access, the latest powerhouse computer might not be the right fit for you. Consider your needs before looking at computers or network systems.
- Don’t be afraid of the cloud. The cloud is still shrouded in mystery and intrigue, but don’t be fooled. The cloud can eliminate the need for onsite equipment, and the support necessary to keep that equipment going, which will often save you long-term capital and operating costs. In addition, cloud solutions are scalable as your business ebbs and flows.
- Talk to someone who understands current technology. We all know that guy who “knows all about computers,” but he’s often not your best resource. Spending a few dollars with a company that deals with technology on a daily basis could save you thousands in the end. The marketplace is full of failed partial attempts at implementing cheaper technology. Plus, IT companies typically know about deals that the consumer wouldn’t be aware of. For example, you may be able to get cost breaks by buying a little more, and you’ll reduce support costs by having new systems (as opposed to an antiquated one). According to this Forrester/Microsoft study, newer systems using Windows 10 can save you money in efficiency, power, and cooling costs. Your IT company can find a solution that just right for you.
- Audit software for unnecessary licenses. Most software isn’t free and if you took some time to review things, chances are, you’d find you’re paying for a multitude of licenses that you don’t actually need.
- Think about support. Are you paying an excessive amount for support each year but not receiving the levels you need with clearly stated Service Level Agreements? Consider the cost of replacing a PC or repairing it during its operational lifetime and then consider the support costs. There is never a time when it’s not worth it to have support on a new system. One day lost can cost you more than the system is worth (potentially more than several systems).
The idea of saving money in your IT department isn’t always about a cost savings up front. Sometimes saving money in the beginning can cost you considerably more in the long run. According to this small business study, businesses are spending an annual average of $427 on repairs on each PC that’s four years or older. Squeezing an extra year out of the old PC might seem like a good idea but you need to be mindful of the operating costs. That doesn’t even include the idea of being left vulnerable to potential attacks from outside sources. In today’s volatile world, a poorly protected PC can be devastating.
Want to hear more ways you can save money in your IT department? Reach out to IT Resource…we can be your IT Resource!
IT Resource is offering managed services, IT support, cloud services, and IT security services in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and parts of central and northern Indiana.