IT equipment is the epitome of a ‘double-edged sword’ – on one hand, it’s the thing that’ll mean you can run your business smoothly and most productively, but on the other hand, it’s an often-enormous cost that prohibited by a large price tag.
So, what do you do?
You could look at finding investors who are happy to pump money into your company – but then again, you could just look at simple ways of making sure you’ve maximized your spend in the first place.
With this in mind, we’ve put together 8 tried and tested ways that your business can save substantial amounts of money on IT…
Shop around for the best internet connection
Internet connections and the internet service providers (ISPs) who you deal with are most definitely not created equal – and some of them are happy to take a lot of money for services you can find cheaper elsewhere.
When you’re looking for a domestic internet connection, there are very few things to compare – with actual deliverable speed being the one that’ll sway most people. Business circuit connections are very different – and require a little more questioning and research:
- What consideration do they give to your business experience?
- Can they deliver a solution that’s right for your particular network design?
- How long do they take to connect your site?
- What’s their problem solving-process like?
- Do their other customers recommend them?
These might not all be things that save you money immediately – but could very well make a significant difference to how your business in run (and how much you have to outlay) in the medium to long-term.
It used to be that the idea of ‘paperless’ was something that would cost a business a fortune – implementing the right kind of technology to allow for digital signing of documentation, online collaboration of document and spreadsheet creation and much more was a big and expensive ask.
This has changed significantly over the last 10 years – and now, a paperless office is fairly easily delivered – but we tend not to do it, simply through the habit of thinking we need a printer/copier/scanner sitting in the corner of the room.
With significant moves toward simplifying online collaboration and the legally-sound electronic signing of documents, paperless is now a deliverable reality – and with it comes massive savings on equipment and consumables – as well as a big environmental thumbs-up too.
Bring your own device
Bring your own device (BYOD) is a subject that tends to split opinion in the business world, on one hand you’ve got significant evidence to suggest it will save a lot of money, as well as increasing productivity and collaboration between teams – but on the other hand, you’ve got some potentially serious security concerns.
The side of the argument you’ll end up on is all about the practicalities of implementing adequate security measures. If you’re a bank, BYOD probably isn’t going to work for you – but if you hold significantly less sensitive data, then it could be a way to enormously reduce your spend.
If it’s something you’d like to look into, your first step should be considered the money you could save. If that looks positive, then step 2 should involve exploring the security practicalities – and whether or not they’re feasible for you and your employees.
Use an MSP
The cost of buying your IT equipment is often either matched or surpassed by the cost of maintaining it and supporting its use. For these two things, you need people, and those people need to be knowledgeable, experienced and highly trained – three traits that don’t come cheap in the world of IT.
The good news is, you can find people who are all of the above and come at a fraction of the cost that would be associated with employing someone (or a small team) – the key is; finding the right managed service provider (MSP).
A good MSP can potentially be on the other end of the phone (or visiting your site) 24 hours a day – and you’ll often find you’ve got the same person dedicated to looking after you and your business needs.
While the appeal of having expertise in-house is understandable – the cost can make it prohibitive for many small businesses – and in fact, using an MSP is unlikely to come with any real negatives, making it a must-have for saving money on IT.
Lease your equipment
A quick and simple tip:
Rather than buying – lease your IT equipment. Granted – in the long term you may end up spending slightly more than if you’d bought outright, but on a month-to-month basis your cash flow will be much more manageable and predictable, especially if you’ve got hardware breakdown cover as part of your agreement.
Choose open source
We’ve become accustomed to the idea that Microsoft, Google, Adobe, Oracle, Sap and other huge software name deliver the best products – but what if you could find other exceptional software products free of charge?
Well, you can – if you’re willing to explore open source. The open source world is awash with outstanding alternative products that are free to use and are supported by a dedicated community around the world. The products might not come with the same marketing budgets you’d expect from the big guys – but that doesn’t mean they don’t deliver on function.
Buy ‘as a service’
The world of ‘as a service’ is growing every day – and while most people are familiar with ‘Software as a Service’ (the idea that you can access previously license-locked applications for a monthly subscription fee) – fewer people realize this payment approach extends to many other IT resources.
Looking for a development platform? Explore ‘Platform as a Service’ (PaaS) options. Looking for a high-end email server, storage server or other network resources? Look at ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ providers.
The world of cloud-computing significantly expands your options and reduces initial costs when you’re looking at building at business IT network.
Futureproof your purchases
It might not feel like a saving – but buying the most-costly option upfront can save a lot of money in the long run.
4G business routers are a great example here. Buying a slightly more-expensive option now will likely mean you have 5G compatibility going forward – so, in 1-2 years when 5G is the new norm, you’ll simply be switching out your SIMs, whereas people who have opted for the cheap, non-futureproof options, will be going back to suppliers looking for costly upgrades.
Project your business plans against tech developments – and if it looks like a change is coming, futureproofing when you’re buying can save you in the long term.
Also Read: How to find the best IT support provider