As our world has been held in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last few months, its consequences have been widespread. Businesses across the globe have struggled to adapt and have suffered financially as a consequence of both lockdowns and other restrictions.
In this climate, cutting costs has become an essential activity in order to balance the books and save businesses from closure; for many businesses, IT expenses have been downsized.
However, the pandemic has also seen a serious uptick in cybercrime, with a 6,000 percent increase in COVID-related spam at the height of the pandemic, for example. Businesses must find ways to cut down on IT costs without sacrificing quality or security. These ideas for finding that balance will be vital for the successful rebound of businesses moving forward.
1. Consolidate Software
Have you evaluated your subscriptions recently? If not, now is the perfect time to dig through all the platforms you use and make sure each one is serving its purpose. Too often, businesses sign up for multiple subscriptions and then forget about them, letting the monthly fees accumulate for programs you might rarely use.
Particularly with the current shift to remote working, it’s wise to consider how the way you operate has changed and if you can consolidate software. For example, remote tools such as Microsoft Teams can be a great way to store applications in one platform rather than pay for several separate program subscriptions.
You should also reevaluate per-user agreements. Your team may have shrunk during the COVID-19 pandemic, and you don’t want to keep paying for per-user software or equipment for the employees you’ve lost.
2. Migrate to Cloud Solutions
Cloud-based solutions deliver data directly to your employees’ computers through the internet and are maintained by a huge network infrastructure looked after by the cloud service operator. The benefits of cloud solutions are numerous.
They limit your need for hard storage in your offices, meaning you can save a great deal in hardware. Without hardware, you may need less floor space, you will be less likely to need electricians or engineers in the case of breakdowns, and you won’t be paying for the purchase, installation, upkeep, and electricity costs of the hardware itself.
3. Switch to VoIP phone systems.
Telecommunication solutions such as VoIP can save you a lot of money in the long run. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol; this means that your phone calls take place through your existing internet connection.
This in turn means you do not have to pay for a separate phone system, or for additional hardware. Whereas traditional PBX and KSU-less lines can cost between $250 to $1000 per user, VoIP solutions can cost as little as $20 per line. Furthermore, they can be perfect for remote working as employees can access the company phone line without being in the office.
4. Implement BYOD policies
One of the best ways to cut IT costs can be by implementing a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, allowing employees to use their own devices rather than supplying company equipment. This can even boost morale as people tend to feel more comfortable with their own devices.
However, it does come with security risks that need to be mitigated, particularly around data breaches. Ensure that your employees are using authorized security software, separating their personal and professional uses of any device, and being careful where they use it and around whom. This will avoid any additional costs linked to potential data breaches.
5. Outsource Your IT
The benefits of outsourcing your IT can be numerous, including saving a significant amount on associated costs. A good managed service provider (MSP) can consolidate all your IT needs into one place, helping streamline your network and protect you from security risks.
An MSP may only cost as much as a single salaried employee on a month-to-month basis, saving on your staffing costs. However, they also eliminate the costs associated with downtime, unused equipment, office space, and more.
Rather than spending an inflated amount on managing your own internal IT department—or even worse, not having one at all—an outsourced provider will be able to monitor your systems round-the-clock at a reduced cost without compromising on network security.