As enterprise technology becomes increasingly complex, IT expenses only seem to keep on coming. In fact, leading research company Gartner says that worldwide IT spending is projected to reach $3.76 trillion in 2019, which is a 3.2% growth from 2018.
Given that small businesses have limited budgets, how can they minimize their IT costs without sacrificing the productivity and efficiency that IT delivers?
#1. Standardize your IT infrastructure
Keep your hardware and software consistent as much as possible. For example, try to purchase the same make, model, and operating system for every PC in the office. By doing so, you can avail of discounts from bulk purchasing. You will also minimize your installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair expenses since you only need to learn and keep track of one type of hardware and software. Not only that, standardization makes it easier for your staff to learn your company’s IT resources, thus cutting down your employee IT training costs.
#2. Leverage cloud technologies
For small businesses, the subscription-based model of cloud services is a more viable approach to conserving IT budgets. It allows you to do away with high upfront expenses such as investments in servers and in-house data centers that can easily run into thousands of dollars. Instead of buying your own hardware and software, you can rent them from cloud vendors. This means your cloud vendor will be the one to shoulder the costs of installing, running, managing, securing, and constantly upgrading the technology.
By shifting to the cloud, you can also protect your data from costly disasters. Since your cloud vendor’s resources are not hosted in your office, they will not be affected in case natural calamities like fires and floods hit your area. Also, data in the cloud are saved in multiple locations, so if you cannot access one backup, you can always retrieve another one.
#3. Partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP)
A CompTIA study found that 46% of companies with managed IT services cut their annual IT costs by 25% or more, while 50% cut their annual IT costs up to 24%. “This is compelling evidence that managed services, even when implemented on a small scale, can deliver significant cost savings, freeing up cash for other business needs,” said Carolyn April, CompTIA’s industry analysis director.
Aside from cost savings, other companies are even able to make money from outsourcing their IT functions since their internal IT staff are now able to focus on revenue-generating projects. More than half of the respondents of the CompTIA survey said that this is actually a major reason why they are contracting with an MSP like Frontline.
An MSP’s proactive approach to maintenance helps you save money from costly downtime, major network repairs, and emergencies. Since MSPs can also provide cybersecurity that is compliant with government regulations, you can avoid penalties and potential damage from a security breach.
Small businesses can also greatly benefit from paying the MSP’s flat monthly fee instead of the full-time salary of an IT professional. When you opt for in-house IT, it’ll be hard to find a specialist who can fulfill all of your company’s IT needs, so you might end up hiring more than one IT staff just to make sure all bases are covered. This can prove costly, especially since their average annual salary is $47,900. This doesn’t even include their benefits. But when you hire an MSP, you gain access to a team of highly skilled IT professionals equipped with various certifications and licenses, so you have all the IT talent you need.
You shouldn’t view IT as a cost center, but rather as an affordable and viable business enabler. When you partner with Frontline, we’ll make sure that you get the most out of your IT budget. to learn more about what we can do for you.