In any business, IT costs can easily spiral out of control, and looking into how to cut these costs can be a difficult task; being able to determine just what to prioritize and how to negotiate what might look like fixed costs is not a simple thing to do. And yet if you are unable to budget correctly within your business, and particularly when it comes to IT, it’s going to be all but impossible to see where your business is going, and plan its future.
Budgeting means being able to properly plan for growth, and being able to handle any unforeseen circumstances that might arise which is why it needs to be done properly. Here are some tips on how to budget for your IT costs and reduce them where you can.
Reduce Your Hardware & Software Costs
Before you can make a budget or think about reducing any IT costs, you should assess your current IT situation. Look at what you’re spending right now; are you paying money out for anything that you don’t need? Or something your business would still thrive without? If that’s the case, you can reduce costs immediately by removing those elements. You might even be able to reduce down the number of services you have by using managed IT services to cover a variety of different IT elements.
Move To The Cloud
The sooner you can move as many of your processes, systems, programs, and documents to the cloud, the better for your budget, and your efficiency. When you are using the cloud, you can reduce a huge number of costs that are linked to replacing software and hardware and keeping it up to date, or at least maintaining it.
Using the cloud more also means you can adjust your budget as you need to, scaling up or down as your circumstances and money dictate. As you scale your business up, you can adjust your usage and spend more of your profits.
Invest In Tools That Promote Remote Working
Over the last few years, remote work has rocketed in popularity, and in 2020, due to the restrictions placed on the population for safety, any businesses that had been lagging in this department had to come on board. In other words, remote working isn’t going away any time soon, and it’s been something that many business owners have found has boosted their profits due to lower costs (and, for many, it has offered better productivity too).
If you invest in the right remote working tools, the ones that allow you to remotely monitor your workforce and that give that workforce the equipment they need to work smoothly and efficiently no matter where they are, you will soon reap the rewards. Although it might cost more at the outset to buy these more expensive tools, they will pay dividends over time with reduced maintenance costs and little disruption to working.
Review Current Contracts
If you have IT-related contracts in place, do you know when they are due to renew? If you’re like most people, you will just allow the auto-renewal to take place, assuming that there have been no changes and that your service will go on uninterrupted.
This might be the easiest option, but it’s not the best one for your budget. Make sure you know when each service is up for renewal and, with plenty of time to spare, search around for a better deal. If you can’t find one, stick with what you have. If you can, switch.
Labor costs will always take up a big part of any budget, and IT is no different. Looking into your employee retention is a great way to reduce costs since every time you lose an employee, it’s costing you money; not only do you potentially have to pay overtime to fill the gap left by the employee, but you also have to spend money (and time) finding a replacement.
It’s far cheaper to ensure that your current employees are happy in their work as they will be less likely to leave. Create a workplace where they feel happy, secure, and heard, and your employee retention will increase.
Of course, the more processes within your IT department you can automate, the fewer members of staff you’ll need, and this could be a great way to save a lot of money within your business. By only having the smallest number of staff on board and automating as much as you can, your costs will be reduced dramatically.
Assuming automation wouldn’t reduce your need for employees entirely, there will, even in the most comfortable and pleasant of working environments, still be the occasional need to hire new staff members. When this happens, lowering your hiring costs as much as possible has to be given enough consideration.
One way to do this is to use social media channels such as LinkedIn, or Facebook to attract candidates as this can be done for free. You could also implement an employee referral program so that current employees could suggest suitable candidates and receive a small fee if they are hired.
When you have a specific budget to work to, it can seem restrictive at first. But there are so many ways that you can create changes and reduce costs once you start to think about it, you should always be able to come up with the ideal solution for your business.