There are so many costs our businesses face that we know will continue to rise. Salaries, lease costs and insurance to name a few. One of the things we love about working in the technology sector is that it is always evolving and as better tools and services enter the market, real savings are possible. We’ve decided to put together a quick list of ways you can save on your IT spend.
- Upgrade your old hardware
That old laptop or desktop is costing you more than you think. Recent research from Microsoft indicates that the true cost of not replacing your old computers amounts to more than NZ$4000 each.
The optimal age of a PC has been found to be no more than 4 years. Older computers are more than twice as likely to experience issues like being slow to boot up, batteries depleting too soon, disk drive crashes causing data losses, application crashes and network connectivity problems.
Patching up those old devices and keeping them running is a false economy.
- Revisit your vendor mix
When was the last time you reviewed your contracts for mobile phones, printing and internet services? When you’re busy, contacting the vendors and renegotiating your contracts is often a low priority. Revising your agreements with them however and/or shopping around can yield significant savings. A key advantage of utilising an IT Managed Service Provider is they can provision these services as part of their monthly fee and manage the renegotiation on your behalf.
- New phone systems present savings
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone systems are now standard practice for NZ SME’s, however they are not all created equal. This technology continues to evolve at pace and offers improved flexibility and real savings. Most IT service providers will happily conduct a review of your current system and outline the benefits and savings that a new VOIP solution would present. The payback period can be surprisingly short.
- Review the IT expertise you need
Access to expertise is often the greatest part of your I.T spend and the most valuable with different organisations needing a different mix of skill. It’s worth asking – is it strategic CIO advice that you need, or access to an I.T help desk to support your users? Is it training, security or engineering services? The answer will depend on the size and nature of your business and the I.T expertise inside it.
If you’re still paying an hourly rate for this talent you will be interested to know that most outsourced IT providers offer a ‘’fixed price per user” service that enables your IT labour costs to scale and flex as you do. These new service models often present real savings and allow you to have ‘on demand’ access to a broad range of I.T skill for a fixed monthly price.
- Right size your hosted servers
Having your servers hosted outside of your office in a secure and replicated data centre is a great thing, especially with regards to Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. The other major benefit is scalability; being able to easily and quickly scale up your servers as the demand grows. But it’s important to also take advantage of the ability to scale down when appropriate.
A valuable task is to ‘right size’ your server set. This is a process which determines if your server requires all the resources it has been granted.
Tests can be done to determine if the CPU, Memory and Disk resources that have been allocated to your server are surplus to requirements. Once reduced this can have great potential savings.
- Review your Software as a Service (SAAS) subscriptions.
The move away from annual licencing of software to online SaaS subscriptions paid monthly has enabled us to quickly access numerous tools that make our jobs easier.
One the challenges this presents however is that SaaS tools can easily be subscribed to, tested and then discarded while charges tick up on your company credit card.
It’s good practice to review these on a quarterly basis by asking;
- What does this tool do and who uses it?
- Is there a better tool out there to do the job?
- If we want to keep using it, are we still on the right licence for our organisation?
A disciplined approach to reviewing these charges can result in real annual savings.
- Understand your “security posture” and invest accordingly.
The I.T. industry loves its jargon and “security posture” is the new kid on the block. Put simply;
“The cybersecurity posture of an organisation refers to its overall cybersecurity strength. This expresses the relative security of your IT estate, particularly as it relates to the internet and its vulnerability to outside threats”
This is often an area where we see customers under invest to their detriment. Security breaches today have major implications in terms of dollar cost, downtime and reputational damage. Our recommendation is to take the time to better understand the security posture of your organisation and invest in improving it if required. It’s better to spend a little, than lose a lot.
If you would like to discuss the IT needs of your organisation please do contact us. With offices in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin and the ability to deliver services nationwide, we take great pride in supporting the IT needs of New Zealand SME’s.