Top 10 ways IT can reduce your operating costs

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Reduce operating costs - CentrixIt’s impossible to run a business without investing in technology that drives productivity and allows you to innovate. However, at some point, some technology becomes less strategic and ends up as an unnecessary expense.

This is why it’s important to perform a regular IT audit or inventory to stay on top of your technology. A thorough review of what you have and how necessary or appropriate it is, and how well it’s being managed or maintained, should show you how well your technology investments are working for you.

Here are 10 suggestions on how you can trim IT costs: 

1. Review your telephone accounts and communications systems. When you only have a handful of employees, your telephony system is usually very basic. But as you add more people into the organisation, your telephony requirements change and become more complicated. Eventually, some lines or functions become redundant and you end up paying for services you no longer use. Have your system audited to track your spending.

2. Use collaboration software (e.g. video conferencing, file sharing). Collaboration software can deliver significant time and cost savings when it comes to your company travel and meetings. Whether it’s responding to customer inquiries or running a simple team meeting, we recommend you use some of the collaboration tools available as they are very useful and cost effective. Take advantage of trial periods or free apps so you’ll have hands on experience before you make a big investment.

3. Move to the cloud. There are significant benefits to be gained by moving your data or technology to the cloud. A cloud strategy saves you money by lowering power costs, people costs, capital costs, and so on. Not to mention, you no longer have to worry about updates, security, disaster recovery measures, etc. When you store your data on your own in-house servers, you need to invest in back-up hardware in case of failure. Having spare hardware lying idle, “just in case,” is an expensive way to maximise uptime.

4. Take advantage of virtual desktops. What many business owners don’t know is that they can take advantage and save costs by investing in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This means less requirement for expensive hardware as VDI needs lower processing speeds and a reduced requirement to replace hardware as often. Virtual Desktops require less admin and support not to mention the mobility and flexibility benefits.

5. Renegotiate vendor contracts. There is nothing wrong with renegotiating your existing vendor contracts. Businesses renegotiate their contracts with suppliers to negotiate price, terms, agreements, or even to ask for special discounts or freebies. Ask your suppliers what their policy is when it comes to renegotiation of contracts.

6. Consider using software-as-a-service or software-on-demand. Arguably, it’s cheaper to pay a monthly fee for a web-based service, such as data backup or antivirus protection, than to purchase and install out of the box software for each individual user. The pay-as-you-go model is a perfect way for any business to plan their tech spending. It can be easily deployed and can scale up or down anytime depending on your changing needs.

7. Reduce trips to the printer. Going paperless is not just about saving on paper costs and clearing the clutter in your office. It’s also about decreasing your environmental footprint. To cut the paper out of your daily routine, share files in Google Docs, Dropbox, or OneDrive. Accept payments and pay office bills online. For conducting surveys and scheduling meetings, try Doodle, SurveyMonkey and whenisgood.net – all free services.

8. Consider BYOD. It’s a reality that staff are increasingly bringing their own devices to work.  So instead of resisting this trend, it would be to your advantage if you fully embrace it. The key to a successful BYOD strategy is a well-planned BYOD policy. If you allow personal devices to be used over your network, make sure you have a sturdy security system that can not only handle the additional traffic, but also secure your data and network from unauthorised users. BYOD allows you to save on the cost of the device (as you no longer have to buy it) as well as training the employee how to use it. Employees are already familiar with their own devices, so any apps or software you choose to install on their devices will be less difficult.

9. Monitor all your software and hardware licenses. Organisations spend serious amounts of cash on licenses, but only a few devote the necessary time and resources to manage them. Keep in mind that just like your other tech investments, all your licenses also need to be monitored. Stay on top of expiry dates, where the software/hardware is deployed, and the terms of use. Unmanaged licenses can result in serious problems such as heavy fines when you violate the terms and additional expenses for lapsed licenses. Save your business from these totally avoidable problems by following the best practices.

10. Look into outsourcing. Outsourcing is a smart way to manage your business. By allowing experts to take care of your IT, there’s less risks that your IT management does not follow best practice. What’s also great is that outsourcing is not an all-or-nothing choice. You don’t have to outsource everything. You can choose only to outsource additional or routine IT assignments.

When tech spending becomes an issue, sometimes all you need to do is make small changes to your priorities to be able to reduce expenses and improve profitability – and avoid drastic cost cutting measures in the future.

If you are interested in outsourcing some or all of your IT, or need help with a project, contact us for a free expert IT consultation.