Operating a business is expensive. Between payroll, materials, taxes, equipment, legal services, etc., it’s no surprise that every business owner would like to lower their costs to improve their margins. It seems like almost every day, a business executive tells me that they want lower IT costs without sacrificing service.
There are four key areas I tell business leaders to check first to ensure they are maximizing the results from their IT investment.
One area almost every company can save money in is internet costs. Voice and data packages that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are offering these days are much more competitive than even three years ago, which means businesses can better align their internet service with how they actually use it, often times for less money. When companies proactively review their telecommunications contract, it’s not uncommon for them to see a cost reduction of 40 to 60 percent annually.
When was the last time you reviewed your voice and data contract?
Cellular Data Costs
Another area businesses should review to potentially save money is their cellular plan and data usage. Just like ISPs, cellular carriers are also offering more competitive plans for businesses. It’s also prudent to make sure international data is only turned on while traveling. Businesses have paid premiums because someone went to Mexico once and forgot to turn it off when they returned.
How long has it been since you took a good look at your cellular plan?
Data Storage and Retention Process
A third area businesses might be able to reduce costs is in their data storage and retention strategy. Businesses are storing more data electronically than ever before. This is not only challenging for IT, but the data warehousing itself comes at a cost. Offsite storage is generally priced per gigabyte (GB), so reducing the amount of data stored can directly impact your spend. The cost of storage itself is trending down, but the accumulation of data is trending up.
Do you have a process for determining which data to keep and for how long?
Strategic IT Review
Finally, a fourth area that can reduce IT costs is reviewing your business’s strategic IT plan and making sure it’s in line with your goals. Most business owners that I’ve spoken to intend on growing their business – almost all of them agree that they can’t stay ahead of the competition without the proper use of technology.
Getting together with your IT team and having a high-level discussion about how IT is going to make it possible to crush those goals without roadblocks will do two things: First, it will help you evaluate whether you have the right people in the right seats. If you’re not sure, maybe there’s an opportunity to outsource IT functions to achieve better results at a lower cost. Second, it will help you determine what your budget will look like this year and beyond, so you nearly eliminate surprise IT costs.
Can you get to where you want to go with the way the plan looks now? Do you have a strategic IT planning process?
If you’re concerned about the IT support results you’re getting for the amount that you’re spending, reach out to a trusted Los Angeles IT consultant to make sure everything is in line with industry standards.