Every company is concerned about the bottom line. Without that attention to detail they’ll constantly be throwing good money after bad. The quickest way to score points with upper management is to show initiative through developing cost cutting measures.
One area where you might have an advantage is by taking a comprehensive review of the costs of your business’ use of technology. Here are some helpful factors to consider when approaching the issue of cost cutting technology.
1. Find the Cost
There are many layers to a company’s technology infrastructure. In order to target costs you have to become familiar with those layers. In other words, you can’t cut the costs until you know what they are. Your business should be operating within parameters of a budget. One of those line item categories will be technology. Here is where you need to drill down for a total audit review.
Look for system redundancies. Are you spending twice the amount to do the same single job? How many operating systems are you paying a license fee for that overlap? Many employees are making the switch to the BYOD (bring your own device) trend but they should all be on the same page with regard to business applications.
The emerging software-as-a-service (SaaS) market is providing valuable resources for many small businesses but that doesn’t mean your company should be automatically “filling up its plate” with regard to applications and software.
A recent survey conducted by the Waterstone Management Group found that the typical small business has anywhere between 18-25 applications that they use to process orders, gather customer information and run the business.
They also found that the average employee costs around $700 per year in tech costs such as software or services. What do you suppose the tech costs for your employee base are? How far can you lower those numbers?
2. Migrate to the Cloud
Transitioning some of your company’s data to a cloud server could be a perfect way to reduce costs and consolidate information. Think of the cloud as a type of third party hosting site that gives you complete control while freeing up your company’s IT systems.
The perfect metaphor would be renting outside storage space to make room in your home for more items. You don’t want to get rid of what you’re putting in storage; you just need to use your space more effectively.
When you move data to a cloud server you can increase the level of productivity of your own internal systems and thereby get the most out of a typical work day. That’s going to bolster the bottom line in a big way.
3. Take a Proactive Maintenance Approach
As powerful as many IT systems are they can also be rather fragile. It’s hard to imagine anyone who uses a computer not experiencing the occasional crash or hard-drive freeze. With our personal computers, we’ll keep using those devices until they literally break down and can’t be booted up.
That’s not a practical approach for a business environment to succeed in. You could find that utilizing a tech-support company for ongoing maintenance will provide a better use of company funds then waiting for a crash and spending exorbitant fees in service calls.
These tech-support companies can monitor your systems and alert you towards any building problems with regard to capacity or malware issues. It’s like taking your car in for a tune up instead of waiting for it to break down by the side of the road.
By consolidating your IT resources and infrastructure, especially in the data center, you gain advantages such as efficient use of resources, document management and recovery, better security, and less complexity. Some elements that you can consolidate include:
- Servers: The number of physical servers can be reduced by focusing on virtual machines and eliminating redundancies.
- File storage: Take advantage of storage area networks (SAN) to centralize all data in one location. They can offer better performance than local storage and are economical for large storage requirements.
- Directory services: Instead of distributed systems which adds to the cost, provide a common directory service with a single sign-on or an authentication solution that can span multiple directories.
When it comes to reducing your company’s technology costs don’t accept the status quo. Yes, things could be operating nicely but that doesn’t mean there can’t be improvements. It would be a shame not to take advantage of all the upgrades in technology that are available for your company.
About The Guest Author: Alex Chadwick is a freelance writer specializing in information technology and business topics. He is also an IT professional at All Covered, providing real-world experience that allows him to cut through the hype and address topics that are relevant in the business world.
Cutting Costs Photo via Shutterstock