IT departments are under pressure to make IT spend go farther than ever before. With new technologies and services constantly becoming available it can be challenging to determine what is best for your organization that won’t break the bank. While you want to make sure you are providing the best technical support you can, you also want to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. It’s hard to predict which projects will save you time or money in the long run. Especially when you have so many different areas that need support. Whether it’s computers, firewalls and other hardware, applications, business phone services or managed IT services your task is to provide the best support possible. This guide will help you get more from your IT spend by showing you how to pick the best projects to reduce your costs and increase efficiency over time.
Do an audit
It is a well-known fact that many businesses waste large amounts of money on their IT department. If you’re wondering how, then look no further than your own budget. Running at least one audit per year will help you track down and cut out some of these unnecessary expenses. This allows you to focus on what really matters for your business and give you an idea where your money could be better spent.
Start by gathering all of your invoices for equipment purchases, subscription and services. When looking for equipment invoices remember to think about network equipment like wireless access points, battery backups, switches, monitors, keyboards etc. Subscriptions could include productivity applications like Google Suite or Office 365, but it could also include CRM or EHR costs. Services include things like electricity, internet, business phone systems, and more. Next, ask around – you may come across unknown costs which are hindering your overall financial performance.
With this data in one place, you can begin to evaluate each expense and make educated decisions about their benefit to the organization. Tracking down wasted money can lead to big savings in future years as long as you continue doing regular audits every 12 months or so. Chances are good you will save anywhere from 10% to 30% right off the bat, plus more moving forward as additional costs are uncovered during regular reviews.
Compare like with like
Be sure you’re making apples-to-apples comparisons when it comes to pricing technology resources. A common complaint from business owners is that they found a vendor that seemed great, but when they dug deeper, they realized there were hidden costs involved. A cloud based server from one company may not come with all of the same features as a different company and you catch yourself paying more than you expected in order to get those features.
A good way around these is to get quotes from multiple vendors before making a decision. Each company will provide information about their solution that could trigger questions to ask others. Once you have a solid comparison, take your time. Weigh out the pros and cons of each choice. Don’t rush into signing anything until all of your questions are answered. If possible, try asking for references of customers with similar needs who have gone with each provider; again, keep in mind that price may not tell you everything.
Even if an offer seems great on paper, always do your due diligence and check out all angles before making any decisions. You’ll thank yourself later…
Buy refurbished gear
If you’re just starting out and aren’t sure how much you need, buying used or refurbished gear is a great way to save money.
Simply search for refurbished laptops or second-hand PCs on Amazon, and other major e-commerce sites. Most of these listings include images and details about each item. You can even test them out in many cases. This is true not just for your computers and workstations but also your network equipment like firewalls, wireless access points and more. Frequently you’ll find exactly what you need at a fraction of its original cost. While it’s true that you don’t get a brand new warranty with refurbs, some sellers offer an additional year of coverage for just pennies per day. (Or maybe ask if they are using operating systems you know well).
These savings quickly add up. Just keep in mind that hardware prices do fluctuate regularly. Check around before making a purchase decision; also try to avoid impulse buys. I got it for so cheap could turn into more wasted cash down the road when you decide it didn’t meet your needs well enough.
You’re Not Alone
Making your IT spend go further, doesn’t have to overwhelm you. From expense audits to equipment purchases, stretching your IT budget can help your organization tremendously. If you need support, we’d love to help. It’s easy to contact us.
Who Is IT Enabled?
IT Enabled is a managed IT service provider. We help organizations with 5-500 employees tackle technology issues by providing comprehensive IT including network and tech support, such as computer, laptop and server support, cybersecurity, disaster recovery options and business phone systems. Our business is keeping you focused on your business.