How To Save Money in Your IT Department

For most CIO’s the real challenge is maintaining operations while staying under a strict IT budget. We are well aware that many IT costs are fixed. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep costs low without sacrificing the performance of you and your team. To help you save money, stay on budget and ensure you’re only buying what you need, keep your costs in check with this selection of useful tips and strategies.

1. Know what exactly you need

Have you ever wondered what your IT department needs? It’s always great to have the latest and greatest software and hardware. However, they are not only in high-demand but also are premium priced. Before doing anything else, it’s a good idea to sit down and define your needs. For example, if your system only requires Internet access, consider using high-performance technology that exceeds your department’s budget. It may be attractive, but the latest, most flashy computers may be more than you need. There may be a cheap solution that exceeds your needs. Take a step back and make sure you write down the needs of yourself and your team and buy only what you need.

2. Create a Virtual server using containers

Create a virtual server using a container If your department still has a dedicated server, consider splitting the server to accommodate multiple applications so that you can share your hardware and save money. You can also create your own virtual container to go one step further. The Linux container is a standalone runtime environment. In a containerized environment, install only what you need to run your application. No more will be installed. Lightweight, easy to carry, run in the same box, and take up less space, reducing hardware costs when using it.

Although, the cloud can seem mysterious, do not forget its main purpose ==> the cloud eliminates the need for on-premises devices and the support to keep them running, often saving long-term capital and operating costs. In addition, cloud solutions become more scalable as your business moves up and down.

3. Use of right-sized hardware

Buying the most expensive equipment isn’t always necessary. Besides using containers, another way to optimize your hardware is to run your application using cheaper equipment. You can connect a powerful PC and make it as powerful as a midrange server.

4. Enter the cloud

If you’re not in the cloud, you’ll need to do so and you can eliminate on-site devices and maintenance support to reduce long-term operating costs. In addition, cloud solutions are also scalable, allowing you to scale up and down as your business rises and falls. Gartner expects cloud-based public storage companies to grow tremendously by 17% in 2020.

So why are so many companies on the cloud trend? Many companies have already realized they can reduce their business costs by relying on the cloud to share, store, communicate, and digitize your documents:

  • Document Sharing: Use a cloud-based document storage program (from as simple as a PDF in Adobe Cloud to as robust as Laserfiche) to make your workflow faster and more efficient.
  • Storage: Say goodbye to a room with filing cabinets, storage bins and Manila folders. Tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive run out of space for money and require additional accessories.
  • Communication: Cloud-based systems such as Slack and Microsoft Teams allow you to communicate important information with your team faster, easier, and more productively. This usually increases your bottom line.

5.Decommissioning software

Looking at software licenses, you’ll see some great ways to save money. First of all, most software isn’t free and you’re likely paying for a license you no longer need. Audit the software for unwanted licenses. Most software is not free. If you take the time to check, you’ll see that you’re paying for various licenses that you don’t really need.

6. Integrate system and solution

By consolidating your system into one streamlined, modern platform, you can save money by reducing the resources required to support multiple platforms. In addition, removing a legacy system tends to reduce repair costs because it takes much less time to repair a new platform than a legacy system.

7. Manage the contractor

If your department uses contractors, you should pay attention to their costs. Contractor expenses are not subject to the same scrutiny, so it may be easier to separate them from labor costs. Alternatively, some companies may choose a higher priced contractor because they believe it is better to change the terms and conditions.

 Track the number of contractors, the amount they are paying, and the amount of overtime they are doing (significant hidden costs) to increase the visibility of the contractors. This will allow you to better manage your contractor’s resources.

8. Implement strong cyber security measures

When a device becomes infected with malware or virus, the cost can become unmanageable. Take into account the cost of repairs and replacements, as well as the time it takes to repair the device, the number of files and work lost, potential customer losses, temporary device costs, and staff inefficiencies.

Implement stricter virus policies and software throughout your IT department should restore the machine services of the device.

9. Create self-help resources for common problems

The cost of calling the help desk is about 10 times the cost of having a person fix the problem. Significant long-term savings can be achieved by providing simple help resources for a variety of common problems. Consider creating a screencast video that your personnel can watch in case of problems.

10. Establish a policy to bring your own device

BYOD policies can significantly benefit IT costs by eliminating the need for replacement and maintenance. However, there is one thing to remember. You need to weigh these initial savings against the cost of additional support time for managing such a wide range of devices. Previously, when deploying devices, you had to manage a narrower range of manufacturers and models. Therefore, take this into account when making decisions

The idea of ​​saving money in IT is not necessarily about cutting costs in advance. Saving first can be very costly in the long run. According to this small business survey, companies spend an average of $ 427 a year repairing all PCs over the age of four. It might be a good idea to get an extra year from your old PC, but you should keep running costs in mind. This does not even include the idea of ​​being vulnerable to potential external attacks. In today’s volatile world, poorly protected PCs can be devastating.

CIOs need to determine how to approach cost cutting in the least damaging way to the mid- and long-term health of the business. Businesses can drastically cut costs by using video conferencing, as well as cloud-based solutions, but they can also lose their competitive edge if they don’t use these tools correctly. There are many tools that can help businesses cut costs.

As you can see, there are a few different approaches that a CIO can take in their attempt to cut costs. It is important to be aware of these approaches so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your cost cutting efforts. The next step is to create a plan about how to approach cost cutting, so that you can begin to implement it. If you need help developing your plan, please feel free to reach out to us at ___. We are always happy to help!

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Matt Parks

About the Author: President & CEO, Matt has over 20 years building and leading high functioning teams
delivering exceptional results