With the spread of COVID-19 changing the way workforces operate, many businesses are experiencing significant financial challenges. As a business owner, you understand it’s essential to cut costs where you can to see this pandemic through, especially for those who are working remotely or had to limit their service offerings.
If you find yourself searching for opportunities to reduce your spending, there are several ways to reduce IT costs without putting your business at risk. Instead of cutting corners on important technology provisions such as cybersecurity, you can use these 5 tips to save money and even increase efficiency in the process:
1. Get Rid of Unnecessary Subscription Software
If your employees are working remote or if you’ve had to downsize, take a look at what subscription software you’re currently paying for and evaluate whether it’s truly necessary. There may be an opportunity to get rid of subscription software that your employees aren’t using while working remotely.
Even if you plan to use the software again once you go back to the office, don’t hesitate to call your provider and renegotiate. Subscription-based services don’t want to lose you as a customer and will often offer you a deal or consider pausing your account until you are back onsite.
Take the time also to re-evaluate your per-user agreements. Your team may have had to eliminate certain positions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and you don’t want to keep paying for per-user software/equipment for those who are no longer working for you.
2. Consolidate Software Alternatives
It’s wise to consider ways your remote workforce could benefit from a software consolidation. For example, remote tools such as Microsoft Teams can be a great way to store all your applications in one platform, rather than pay for several separate program subscriptions. Take inventory to see which applications your team is still currently using and what alternatives may be available.
Though you may require different provisions for your various departments—such as specific software for your design team—it’s beneficial to try to universalize software across departments. Using the same software will ensure that everyone can collaborate and work together seamlessly while also saving you money by eliminating underutilized software.
3. Switch to Hosted Voice Phone Systems
Office phone systems can be expensive, and if you have employees working from home, traditional PBX systems become virtually useless. Telecommunication solutions such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) can save you a lot of money in the long run while also serving as an ideal solution for remote workforces.
Of the many benefits hosted voice systems have to offer—including enhanced conferencing, voicemail, and video features—perhaps the most important is that they reduce costs significantly. To illustrate, a system for 12 users costs an average of $800 on VoIP, while you can expect to pay about $2,500 for a landline with the same amount of users.
While you can always call your landline provider and let them know you’re considering switching to VoIP to see if they’ll offer you a discount, you’ll likely find that switching to VoIP is more beneficial in the long run. The lack of onsite wiring and hardware makes this cloud-based phone a simple, secure solution for remote workforces at a fraction of the cost of traditional phones.
4. Stop Leasing Onsite Printers
Some companies lease printers for every department, which can cost them hundreds of dollars per month.
As a lessee, you end up paying more than market value for your printers, whose services you may not even need while your workforce is remote. In addition to paying more for the actual cost of the printer, many businesses overpay for maintenance plans.
Now that you’re remote, there’s no need to continue leasing these printers. Even if you do plan to go back to the office eventually, buying printers outright is still much more cost-effective for businesses.
5. Invest in Strategic IT Outsourcing
It may be time to look beyond company walls for help when it comes to managing your IT in the most cost-effective way.
To help out their IT teams that are spread thin and overworked, many businesses are turning to managed IT services. Outsourced IT allows your IT team to take the mundane IT tasks off their plate and turn them over to an outside expert while they focus on more strategic, mission-critical initiatives. This, in turn, reduces overall downtime and allows you to better align your technology with your business goals.
Managed Service Providers can save you money not only on a month-to-month basis with their cost-effective service fees, but they also save you money by eliminating costs associated with overlooked zero-day vulnerabilities, unused equipment, and more.
Another benefit to managed IT services is that they offer a team with a diverse set of specialties. With support around the clock—including comprehensive cybersecurity—outsourcing your IT also allows you and your employees to focus on the core functions of your business so you can meet and exceed your goals quicker. And as every business owner knows, higher productivity rates equal higher profits.
In sum, there are several ways to better manage your IT budget and cut costs without reducing the quality of your IT provisions. In fact, in many ways, these cost-effective IT solutions are more advantageous for businesses than their higher-cost alternatives. Examining your business needs and considering these solutions is a great way to ensure your business survives not only the current pandemic but future challenges, as well.