In the current economic climate, the price of almost everything is on the rise. To tackle inflation and protect against an almost certain recession, it’s up to business owners across the country to reduce their outgoings wherever possible. But where can you cut your costs?
One key expense that has been consistently climbing in recent years is IT. And while it’s hardly the ideal solution, reducing your tech spend is the compromise that might need to be made in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Many of the factors pushing up IT costs are entirely out of your control, from the global chip shortage to the rising prices of software. However, there are changes you can make in the next year to reduce your business’ IT outgoings. In this article, we’ll outline our three top tips. Let’s get started.
Since their inception, cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools have been streamlining operations and cutting costs for businesses across all industries. However, unless you have your procurement and negotiation strategies down to a fine art, there’s a good chance that you’re working with an unmanageable SaaS stack — and you could be unwittingly wasting budget.
Under-used or forgotten-about applications are commonplace, but there are measures that can be taken to address this. As explained by SaaS purchasing platform Vertice, good SaaS management is not just about identifying the software applications that are being subscribed to, but also about capturing the relevant information about each app. They advise that each business should document vital details about its software portfolio, such as the number of licences in use, the cost per application, and the renewal schedule of each tool.
This way, you can keep visibility on your stack, ensure that nothing is being paid for and under-utilised, and eliminate those tools that fail to provide a worthwhile return on investment.
Another way to reduce IT costs is to employ a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. If your company software can run on standard PCs and mobile devices, there might not be any need to purchase dedicated equipment for each member of staff. Chances are, they already have their own laptops and smartphones that can handle the majority of work-related tools and communications.
Of course, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t support employees that lack their own equipment or the means to purchase it, but rather encourage bringing your own devices to help minimise unnecessary hardware expenditure. This also means that the company won’t be liable to maintain and repair employee devices, which can further decrease the IT department’s workload and costs.
Lastly, BYOD policies can help to support dispersed workforces, which are becoming more prevalent than ever thanks to new legislation and hybrid-remote working cultures. With all of their files and personal configurations kept on their personal devices employees can be productive and flexible in their working arrangements, cutting down on time spent on switching and misplacing data between “home” and “work” equipment.
Investing in smart external solutions can help to improve and streamline your internal IT. If your business lacks the resources to set up a dedicated IT team, outsourcing is a great way to enjoy the benefits of establishing a comprehensive digital infrastructure without the associated costs.
One way to do this is to use a managed service provider (MSP), a third-party organisation that remotely manages business IT systems. According to productivity experts from Gartner, MSPs are responsible for delivering services such as “network application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises”. In short, the MSP model makes it so that businesses only pay for their support usage, as opposed to making large investments in on-premises infrastructure.
Turning to MSPs for IT solutions can help you get back to your own trade rather than trying to play the role of IT professional. Plus, it can help you to cut hiring costs, as you won’t have to invest in recruiting dedicated in-house IT staff. Considering the current state of the global tech skills shortage, this could be a costly endeavour — but MSPs ensure that you have qualified professionals to turn to and pay for only when you require them.