5 ways to reduce IT spending

BusinessValue_April02_CMost small to medium businesses operate on razor-thin margins, keeping management on the lookout for ways to minimize costs and maximize the bottom line. While there are many ways to cut costs, making some changes to your technology could be one area to investigate. Today’s tech isn’t cheap, but there is always a way to keep expenses down.

Here are five ways you can reduce IT spending.

Backup everything
If you are like most other small to medium companies, the majority of your important files are located on one server, or maybe a couple of computers. Technology doesn’t last forever and the machine on which you have your data stored will eventually stop working. If this happens unexpectedly you could lose some of the information that is stored on it. The cost to recover this information could be substantial. To minimize this risk, we suggest that businesses invest in a solid backup platform and develop a plan to keep those files safe.

Yes, this will cost money up front, but would you rather have a copy of your systems and data from yesterday which can be easily implemented when you have a problem, or would you like to pay to maybe recover year’s worth of data if something goes wrong? Backups save you money in the long-run, while offering the additional benefit of significant stress reduction.

Have a strict anti-virus policy
Assuming that your employees won’t download programs or browser extensions simply because you tell them not to is like telling a child not to eat candy; they are still going to do it. By simply having computers and devices accessing the Internet through your network, you are at risk. If your systems are hacked or infected, you can face loss of data, high recovery costs, or worse.

How do you minimize the chance of malware infections and the risk of being hacked? Antivirus software and security solutions installed on every computer that can be run from one machine are your answer. This makes it easier for you or your IT partner to ensure all of your systems’ antivirus software is up to date and scanning when it should be, and will minimize the chance of infection while keeping costs down.

Document everything
As your company grows, you will start to use more technology. Over time, this equipment will need to be replaced. If you take steps to document all of your systems, computers, software, etc., including details like where it’s located, when it was implemented, and who is in charge of it, you will be able to track things down quickly when needed, and thus be managing your systems better. This time saving measure will cut your costs.

Look into a CRM/ERP/HRM solution
There are so many software solutions out there that can help you plan and run your operations. If you’ve been using a simple spreadsheet for tasks like tracking employee data or planning, you could be getting more out of a tailored solution.

Solutions like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or even Human Resources Management (HRM) can help you spot hidden costs or even plan more efficiently, which will reduce costs well into the future.

Look for fixed-price solutions
A major problem with all tech systems is that predicting costs is nearly impossible. You simply don’t know when or if an important piece of hardware will fail. This becomes even more of a problem if you don’t have expertise in tech.

One of the best ways to save money on IT costs is to outsource with a company like Providence. We offer a variety of plans, including flat-rate services, that can fit every budget and leave you free you to focus on what you do best – running your business.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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