Many businesses are looking for opportunities to save on costs going into 2021. IT is one place that many businesses can save money with better management. Here are IT Cost Saving Tips.
IT Cost Saving Tips – Audit Systems
A great place to start is to understand what you currently have in place and what it does. Your IT department or provider should be able to easily provide you documentation on your current set up.
Many times, just by taking a close look you’ll identify areas of waste. We’ve done audits for clients where they found out they had multiple servers that were no longer in use because their functionality had been migrated to a SASS product years before. The servers were still on, and they had been paying for power, licensing, and support for all those server for years for no reason.
Take the time to understand what you have. If you don’t see a purpose for a piece of hardware or software, ask questions. If you confirm its not in use, get rid of it. A single physical server can use as much as $1200 in electricity per year by itself. Not to mention support or licensing costs.
Not only does it make sense to dispose of old hardware, but legacy applications as well. The end goal should be to have all the systems you need to do business and nothing else.
IT Cost Saving Tips – Systematically Cycle Hardware
I know that it might be counterintuitive to recommend buying hardware to save money, but sometimes that’s the best thing you can do. Studies have shown that businesses that cycle their hardware on a 3–5-year basis get the best bang for their buck.
What is that? Well, it typically boils down to support costs and lost productivity.
As the age of hardware passes that 5-year mark for desktops (less for laptops) the time it takes to support it starts to go up significantly. Hardware isn’t that expensive. Typically, if you’re spending more than a few hours on an old machine to get it going, the cost of delivering that support will be more than the cost of new hardware.
Anyone that has used an old dog slow computer will tell you how annoying it is. Waiting seconds between each click. All those seconds add up. Microsoft did a study that revealed owners of old computers spend an entire day each year simply waiting for them to boot.
“The average home computer is 3.4 years old, according to the study. The owners of these PCs are being forced to wait 23.5 hours every year for their machine to boot up – 65% longer than those who bought a device in the past six months.”
In terms of business productivity, a 50K employee would be paid almost $200 each year waiting for their machine to boot. That same employee spends 22 minutes per day dealing with IT issues. That means they may spend an additional 91 hours a year just trying to get their computer to work. That could be thousands in lost wages and productivity.
Put a plan together to cycle your hardware on a regular basis and stick to it. It will save you money in the long run.
IT Cost Saving Tips – Software Licensing Management
Most software has moved to a subscription-based model as opposed to a one-time purchase. While this can be a great method to consume software that puts much of the support costs on the software manufacturer, we find that there is often some waste in the system.
What happens is that as employees join or leave the organization the software licenses assigned to those users are not dispositioned correctly. Essentially accounts are often left open for users that no longer exist. Nobody notices, and you continue to pay the bill.
Take the time to audit your software licensing. Make sure that each user has what they need, and that all accounts that are no longer in use are shut down. This simple act alone could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars each month depending on your licensing and the size of your organization.
IT Cost Saving Tips – Right Size Staff
If you have inhouse IT staff, you may notice that internal IT organizations frequently get top heavy over time. Typically, around 80% of technical issues can be solved by a Level 1 helpdesk technician. The other 20% will need a more experienced technician or a specialist.
You want that first line of the helpdesk to solve most issues, because they are the least expensive resource you have on your IT team. The org chart should look like a pyramid with a wide base. If you find yourself with too many IT managers, Directors etc., think about reorganizing. This will allow you to better suit the solution to your actual needs and eliminate duplication and waste.
IT Cost Saving Tips – Virtualize Servers
If you haven’t already virtualized your servers, do it. There are very few workloads that cannot be virtualized, and it’s a technology that can save you money.
How does it save you money? There are a few ways. The first is that it allows you to buy and support less server hardware. The ability to house multiple virtual servers on a single piece of hardware allows you to better leverage available hardware resources. Most physical servers only use a small piece of their available processing power at any time. Virtualization allows you to oversubscribe those resources so they can be used more efficiently.
In addition, virtualization allows you to reduce support costs for routine tasks like backups through some of the innovative backup products on the market. Move change projects also become significantly easier because your operating system isn’t tied to a specific piece of hardware.
Virtualization is a win, win, win scenario. If you’re not already doing it and have on premise servers, you should investigate it right away.
IT Cost Saving Tips – Don’t Skimp Where It’s Needed
One word of caution here. You can get so slash happy with your IT budget that you take away key processes or systems that were saving your team time. That can be detrimental. While you may save an upfront cost, it can end up costing you more in labor and lost productivity.
Doing that audit to understand your key systems and the business purpose they serve will help you to know where you can cut and where you should exercise caution.
IT Cost Saving Tips – Outsource
Outsourcing IT can also be an awesome way to save money. There are a bunch of benefits, but one of the big ones is that it allows you to fit the solution to the need. Many small and medium businesses will only need 20 hours a week of helpdesk support. Outsourcing allows you to get that support for significantly less than the cost of hiring a full-time employee.
In addition, you have access to higher level IT resources that you need less frequently in an on-demand basis. That means if you only need 4 hours per month of time from that Senior Systems Administrator, you can get just that and not pay for anything more.
You also save on the costs of providing benefits and training for IT staff. Benefits can cost 25% or more of salary and are another large expense with in-house staff.
Outsourced IT providers can also offer discounted hardware and software based on the volume and agreements they have with hardware and software manufacturers. Necessary licensing such as antivirus can frequently be obtained at a discount with outsourced providers.
Best of all, a quality outsource IT provider can prevent you from having downtime by proactively monitoring your systems for performance. They can also give you staff quick answers where they do have problems so the can get back to work more quickly.
Any business with less than about 150 employees can typically save SIGNIFICANTLY by hiring an outsources IT provider instead of full time IT staff.
Coming out of what was a rough 2020 for many of us a lot of businesses are looking to save money. We hope that these it cost saving tips will help you to do just that. If you have questions about your current network and want a free evaluation on the efficiency of your current IT network give us a call today. We love to help businesses streamline their IT and save money at the same time.