How to Adjust Your IT Budget and Save Money During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to reduce their services, which has meant also making big cutbacks in order to stay afloat. Teams of staff are meanwhile having to work remotely in order to socially distance, which has meant having to adopt new IT practices.
Is it possible to cut back spending and make tech improvements at the same time? Fortunately, yes—you can do both. Below are just a few ways in which you can save money while upgrading your IT:
Migrate to Cloud Solutions
If you’re not already leveraging the power of the cloud, now could be the perfect time to make the switch from legacy solutions.
Cloud technology allows you to store all information on a remote server. This information can be accessed by any of your employees from any location, which is very convenient when working from home.
Storing information on the cloud can also have security benefits compared to storing it on-site. You also don’t have to worry about your data if your office is damaged by a fire or a flood.
On top of all this, cloud solutions can also save many companies money. An on-site server can be expensive to run and maintain. While decent cloud services still come with their costs, the overall expenses tend to be greatly reduced. In fact, one survey of 1,300 companies found that 88% of cloud users experienced savings.
How many programs is your business using, and do you really need them all now that you’re remote? Consolidating your software could help to keep it centralized and organized.
Tools like Microsoft Teams are great for keeping programs all in one location, rather than having data spread out all over the place. Training employees to use software is also easier as you don’t have so many programs to guide them through.
Consolidating programs is also likely to cut costs. Less software means less subscriptions to pay each month. On top of getting rid of programs you don’t need, you may want to reassess your pay-per-user agreements—especially if your team has shrunk during the pandemic. You don’t want to be paying for 40 users if your team has been reduced to 20.
Outsource your IT
A growing number of companies are now choosing to use managed IT services. This involves using a third-party company to remotely provide IT support when you need it. When you outsource your IT, you’re hiring a team of experts that are available 24/7, something that you can’t expect from a single in-house IT employee.
On the whole, outsourced IT services cost about as much as one salaried employee. However, unlike hiring an in-house IT employee, you don’t have to pay for their equipment on top of this.
Constant immediate availability can also reduce downtime, compared to hiring an in-house IT technician who may not have that availability. All in all, it’s much more affordable and efficient to outsource.
Get Rid of Leased Printers and Other Onsite Equipment
It’s common for companies to lease equipment such as printers on a monthly basis. With all your employees working from home, this equipment could be going unused, making it a waste of money.
Consider getting rid of this leased equipment to free up cash each month. Even if you do eventually need a printer when you return to working in the office after the pandemic, you’re likely to be better off buying a printer. Many people are talked into leases because of the lower upfront costs, but buying tends to save you money in the long run.
Switch to Remote Phone Systems
Traditional PBX phones have their advantages, but are pretty useless if you and all your employees are working remotely. Because these phone systems operate via a fixed landline, someone constantly has to be working in your office to answer calls.
A VoIP phone system contrastingly uses the Internet to make and receive calls. Calls can be answered on any number of devices from any number of locations, making it a more practical solution for a remote team.
VoIP phone systems are also generally cheaper than PBX phone systems. In fact, according to one report, small businesses that switch to VoIP are often able to reduce the cost of local calls by up to 40%. International calls are significantly cheaper, sometimes resulting in savings of up to 90%. These phone systems are easy to set up on top of being affordable.
By implementing these strategies, your business can save big on unused or unnecessary costs associated with your technology. Rather than downgrading or sacrificing security, you can free up some of your budget by cutting back on onsite equipment, consolidating data, and outsourcing IT management.