How to save money on your IT support
Last updated on July 10th, 2020
Obviously, cost-reduction within IT is a massive area with so many variables and factors. I can’t cover every scenario as it all depends on the company, its systems, its operations, etc. It needs some real analysis and investigation, and to list all scenarios isn’t possible here. I will, however, give you a few very basic, but quick kills that don’t need in-depth business analysis and are easy to assess and address.
1. Look at your communication costs
Leased lines to the Internet and between offices should be reviewed. Technology has moved on at a great pace and it’s likely there are new ways to achieve your objectives at a reduced cost.
Look at your spend on calls and maintenance costs for your existing system. It may also be worthwhile to look at VOIP services to see if they fit with your operations. If you do look at VOIP be careful and really look at the figures and performance of the service. I’ll go into choosing a VOIP provider another day as it’s a big area.
If you don’t review regularly, then it’s likely that you can get more bandwidth for your money or at least shave something off your monthly bill.
Speak to your current or other providers to get a real understanding of where you are spending money, i.e. what type of calls, call destinations, durations, etc. Armed with this information you can probably negotiate a better deal with your current or another provider.
Set your default printing to economy, black and white only for general everyday printing. If you have a duplex unit then use that to print double-sided by default.
Are you paying per printed page? If so, review the costs. It may be more cost-effective to switch equipment, switch suppliers or negotiate a better deal.
If you are printing and sending communications to your customers, it may be possible to slash costs by sending out communications electronically. For example, invoices that are sent via email or downloaded from a secure website.
Educate your user base to print only when necessary – do you need to print every document and email?
3. Look at your power consumption
Look at server virtualization or consolidating numerous systems onto a single server.
Configure power-saving settings on PCs and screens so that they go into low power mode when left idle.
If you use occupy space in a 3rd party data centre then cut your power usage by virtualising servers or consolidating services. Also, ensure that you are only paying for the power you use.
Server room temperature
In the past, server rooms were kept around the 18-20 degrees mark. This is an area of contention but you can generally run a server room at 23 degrees without issue. I would however just check that your UPS and servers will tolerate a higher temperature and that you don’t invalidate your warranties.
Consider using thin-client technology to slash power costs on the desktop.
4. Focus on Productivity
The speed of PCs
If your PCs are slow, then it may be worthwhile to do a clean-up: i.e. remove unnecessary applications, run a hard drive defrag, remove old files. You may also find that small upgrades, such as memory, may make a measurable difference. Maybe you just need to refresh them all or look at thin-client solutions.
Maintain your servers
Keep on top of your maintenance and make sure you have the right resources allocated. At the end of the day, a server outage could cost you hard cash as well as productivity loss, loss of reputation, etc.
Enable – or improve – remote working to help your staff to work more effectively while away from the office. You may have remote access but is it efficient? Is it easy and is time productive when working out of the office?
Ensure that your staff aren’t using the Internet for non-work related tasks in their working hours. You can restrict it and only allow for personal use during lunch, before and after work, etc. It’s important to get the balance right and not to hammer staff too hard in the current climate.
The above points are just a few really basic and generic examples, as there is much you can do, all dependent on your business and the systems you operate. The beauty of all of the main points stated is that the savings are easy to identify and measure. They won’t take long to analyse, and you can implement most of them with little or no investment.
What else could you look at?
The list is too big to get into, but other areas could include:
- Are all of your system processes efficient?
- Do you have the right software tools/systems to deliver for your business?
- Could tools /systems be used more effectively?
- Is your IT infrastructure correct for your requirements?
- Are you capturing all billable time/products through your systems?
- Have you got the right people doing the right jobs on the IT systems?
- Do your service and support contracts fit your requirements?
Always look for an ROI and don’t be afraid to spend money to save money.
Windows Server 2003 end-of-life is looming: Are you ready?
Businesses have had numerous warnings over the past 18 months, but now the countdown is well and truly on. In just under 11 weeks Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003. As of July 14th, Windows Server 2003 will go end-of-life and Microsoft will no longer issue security updates and patches. If you continue […]
In the press: Securing your hybrid cloud
The debate over public cloud versus private cloud continues to rage within the IT industry. As most organisations take an ad-hoc, evolutionary approach to new technologies, the environment over the next five years is likely to be a mixture of the two. IT leaders will not only have to deal with a hybrid cloud environment, […]
5 business continuity challenges facing growing businesses
The big challenges that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face are not that different to those encountered 10 years ago, but the issue is now that the impact to the business is much greater. Typically, I’d say these are the general challenges in the space: Reliance on ADSL technologies – ADSL has no real SLA for fix […]