With the various technology needs of the average business, IT costs can easily swell to beyond what you are comfortable spending. But, there is a good chance your bloated tech budget is not due to unavoidable costs, but a failure to really take a good hard look at where the money is going, and where tweaks can be made. Here are just a few ways to rein in your IT spending, without compromising the needs of your business.
Consider the Cloud
The cloud has been getting a lot of attention recently, and while the concept is not anything new—think of free email services, like Gmail or Yahoo—its use amongst businesses for their software and data storage needs is ever-expanding. Transitioning to cloud-based services saves money on various fronts, and allows for a level of data security you would be hard-pressed to provide on your own. There are a variety of sites, such as www.togglebox.com , that offer a range of cloud services for every business and budget.
Review Projects in Progress and Kill Any ‘Zombies’
If yours is like many businesses, you may have at least one, and probably a couple, of IT projects that are dragging on, draining funds, time and resources as they go. They are basically dead in the water, but still kicking enough, often getting the nickname ‘zombie projects.’ Finally putting the kibosh on them will allow you to put your staff and money towards more important needs.
More and more technology brands are expanding their offerings, allowing a business to get much, if not all, of what they need tech-wise right from them, and them alone. While it might not be possible to get all your solutions from the same provider, there is a good chance you can consolidate a bit, rather than working with a different vendor for each different solution you require, from email to project management. Just like you can get great deals by taking out all your different insurance policies with the same carrier, you can achieve substantial savings by using a provider’s suite of services, rather than acquiring them all separately from different companies.
Don’t Wait Until Something Goes Wrong
Just like it is recommended you spend the money to maintain your car, or air conditioning system, to prevent much costlier repairs down the line, you should be doing the same for your IT infrastructure. Not paying any mind to your servers or computers until something goes terribly wrong will result in costs that can usually be avoided, like that hefty fee you need to pay to get that onsite support ASAP. Instead, research your options for remote management and monitoring services offered by tech companies. For a low monthly fee, they can monitor your system, and nip problems in the bud.
Go Over Contracts Carefully
The idea of negotiating an IT contract may make you uncomfortable; you may also get the idea it is not even an option in this situation. So, you just sign on the dotted line and fork over the dough. But, very few things in life are completely closed to negotiating. If you don’t think you can handle it yourself, enlist the services of someone who can. You might exercise leverage in a few ways, such as getting comparable quotes and holding out on the purchase until the end of the month, when the rep may be a bit more anxious to close a deal.
And, make sure your contract includes a stipulation to review the contract periodically for price changes, such as every two years, as technology costs can drop considerably over time.