On the surface, it seems rather silly to look toward your IT system for a cost reduction strategy, given that IT is what quite literally allows your company to exist, but it is prudent to make sure you are spending money efficiently and with great impact. Consider your vehicle and how important it is. It takes you to work, brings you to your local marketplace for food or other essentials, and is ultimately the single most important mode of transportation in your life. What happens when your car breaks down? It feels like you’re incapable of doing anything. You’re limited and helpless. Isn’t reliability the most important component of a vehicle?
This is the exact same thing a company feels when your network goes down, when you’ve lost internet connectivity, when your employees are unable to work because of unexpected machine failures… it’s crippling. The important thing to note with this comparison is how little your budget priority is considered. Your immediate concern is getting your system fully functional, in the same way that all you care about is fixing your car’s motor and getting back on the road. The real problem is behind the scenes – the lack of preventative IT maintenance and the absence of recovery protocols.
So how do you reduce IT costs? That seems like an impossibility given how important it is to run your company. But it isn’t impossible. Here are a few ways to combat ineffective IT costs and substitute it with some best practices, which happen to also be cost-reducing.
Move to a Cloud Environment
There really isn’t anything better at reducing IT costs overall than moving to a cloud-based system. Yet there are a huge amount of companies still lagging in this critical evolution. Reasons for this could include the size of the business, current cash flow, but many fall behind simply because they don’t know the benefits or what it can actually do.
In a cloud environment, you’re taking the risk of downtime not only off your hands, but you are taking it off-site… in a controlled environment designed to host business data and keep uptime as high as possible. Just with this benefit alone it’s completely worthwhile. You are nearly guaranteed that if downtime does occur, technicians are immediately notified and start working to bring the environment back up in a timely manner.
Also, the cloud is accessible anywhere and anytime. This incredibly valuable ability allows the possibility of working from home or editing/sending important data while you’re away from the office. Furthermore, it eliminates high hardware costs because you are only paying for what you use on a system that you are essentially renting.
Automating workflow improves productivity like nothing else. Many day-to-day items that IT employees find themselves doing are largely repetitive and end up holding other, more important tasks, back. Fortunately, with the help of cloud tools, automation is a much more attainable practice than ever before.
By simplifying setup, configuration, and constant updates, your processes can become increasingly easy to manage, even when you increase company scale. Having a truly visible network means you can proactively identify issues before they become problematic. Preventative maintenance will always end up yielding more time to work on other tasks and projects.
Utilize Remote Management
Without remote access, IT companies must heavily rely on the ability of IT workers to manually work on the computers. This increases cost and time which certainly makes things more expensive. It’s also makes performing the work more stressful in some situations. Investing in remote access or having your IT partner able to remotely access and manage all network equipment and endpoints through management software is a necessity. The ease of communication and remote management will easily show an increase in saved time as well as a large cost-savings by preventing individually managing devices and equipment.
At the end of the day, to greatly reduce IT costs for your company you’ll need to spend more up front to get on a system that saves money in the long-term. So “cutting costs” doesn’t mean “eliminate IT spending”. It means take advantage of the latest evolution of technology primarily by migrating to a cloud environment to increase productivity, security and availability, which in turn will eliminate the unnecessary risk and large costs of keeping the outdated business model of owning your own IT equipment.
Your IT system may be out of sight just like the motor in your car, but it’s what’s driving your business.