As a CIO, team leader or business owner, knowing the most efficient ways to reduce IT costs without straining or impacting other areas negatively is key to making sure the business remains viable, operable and profitable.
Knowing the best IT cost reduction techniques is easier said than done. Therefore, we have done some of the hard work and have provided you with a comprehensive list on potential ways to decrease IT costs and optimize expenses.
8 ways to reduce IT costs
1) Make use of managed services
Making use of managed IT services is one realistic way to decrease IT costs.
Managed Service Providers ensure that your uptime management and IT efficiency are increased. They let you outsource your IT tasks to a vendor and lighten your IT maintenance burden at a reasonable price, thus enabling you to focus on core business concerns instead of IT management tasks.
MSPs may be able to host, manage and maintain your company's IT framework - or part of it - better than many of your regular IT support staff thus potentially leading to massive IT cost reduction.
Managed Service Providers come in very handy when your company's workforce lacks the specialization needed in certain aspects, such as network management. They can also help you maintain a reasonable budget while significantly improving the satisfaction of your end users.
When you make use of MSPs, you may be able to reduce your need to have adequately trained staff who can deal with proper maintenance or repairs. You pay a flat fee for the provision of a high level of service quality to your business.
2) Get it right the first time
It is not by 'how far', but by 'how well'.
Many organizations focus more on hasty output without bothering to diligently concentrate on quality and thoroughness. This often means that they have to repeatedly compensate for system or procedural errors while simultaneously working to fundamentally correct and rectify mistakes and dysfunctions. This leads to unproductivity and a waste of precious resources thus making IT costs very high.
You can reduce IT costs by making sure your staff do not work with outdated hardware or software, as this makes their work slow and not up-to-par, you should also discourage the use of shortcuts while coding or programming.
Rather, you should encourage going through proper formats like user testing and code review as this will prevent future problems associated with a lack of thoroughness. This can mean an additional reduction in potential costs incurred trying to rectify these problems afterwards.
3) Virtualize your databases
Technological advancement has now ensured that you can not only create core images, you can also create other databases that are instrumental to that core.
Virtualizing databases means that you can mask the physical location of a database from inquiring programs. This implies that you can spread your database on several layers/servers and the programs making use of it will continue to operate as if it were a normal database.
This not only makes database management easier, it also lowers the cost of maintaining a large database. When you virtualize your databases, your productivity can increase, you’ll likely save on storage and reduce your IT costs because you share physical resources.
For instance, you are able to save a database image, run a test cycle, fix errors and then come back to the original database so you can run the test again.
4) Make use of inexpensive hardware
One quick way to reduce IT costs is to link several computers together in order to replace expensive equipment. You can also consider hardware options that are less expensive yet as powerful as the expensive ones.
You should however not only go for low prices, you should consider long term use and quality when purchasing cheaper IT hardware. When you consider the residual value of less expensive hardware, you ensure that you oan decrease IT costs while maintaining an unwavering productivity consistency.
In your IT cost reduction quest, you can also consider purchasing or replacing your IT hardware with refurbished ones, when you buy refurbished IT equipment, you are sure of getting the same top quality, but potentially at a significantly reduced rate!
5) Make use of cloud services
One other way to reduce IT costs is to move some or all of your data and applications to the cloud.
Operating on-premise services incur lots of expenses, payments have to be made for software licences, server maintenance and the likes. Besides, you risk losing some or all of your data to work hazards.
When you move your data/backups to the cloud, you can store them in a single location in the cloud and you don't need to pay for more storage or resources. However, this strategy can be self-defeating because, when restores are required (which is the whole point of backing up your data!), you may well find it too slow, or necessary to restore far more than needed. This creates expense - and if a lot of data needs recovery, things can get extremely slow and expensive, which may even jeopardize your business. Therefore, think twice before trusting a third party with your organizations’ mission-critical data. Nevertheless, an onsite/cloud mix may be a good solution, giving you more choices.
All you need do is budget for a single and predictable monthly fee for your preferred cloud-based service without all the unnecessary expense you incur on security, staffing, maintenance etc; all of which can be handled by your cloud service provider.
Even though you will surely experience IT cost reduction, care has to be taken that your cloud spending is optimized and you are not paying for unneeded resources. Ensure you spot anomalies and act accordingly to prevent unwarranted billing surprises.
6) Allow telecommuting and remote work
Another guaranteed technique to decrease IT costs of your company is to allow your employees to work from home.
A recent study showed that if you let your staff work from home for just half the time, your company would save an average of $10,000 per employee based on real estate cost alone! By incorporating telecommuting, you increase productivity because your employees are able to work in environments they've adapted to, without the usual stress of office life.
This leads to larger income and even makes your business global because you can hire remote employees who work in different key locations thus enabling your company to have a greater presence in their respective regions. However, be aware that it takes a special and specific type of person that is highly self-motivated to work remotely for sustained periods. It is certainly not for everyone.
Remote working can reduce IT costs incurred by computer, electricity or heating operations and can sometimes be a great option if you want to waive the stress of renting an office, stocking supplies, and the general maintenance associated with renting a space.
7) Optimize your workforce
Making sure your workforce, especially your IT teams are at optimal status and are comfortable and happy with their work conditions is key to ensuring that your turnover is reduced and you save a lot of money on recruiting and training new members.
Studies show that the expense incurred when recruiting and onboarding new workers is between $4,000 and $7,500 per recruit.
However, when you support your IT team and make sure they are provided with everything they need without being overburdened with work, they are more enthusiastic and put in more effort, thus leading to higher productivity and saving you the expense of hiring new staff because disgruntled ones left.
One useful approach may be to establish a solid relationship with local colleges and hire fresh graduates so as to discover new talent in a less expensive way. Also make use of interns, as it is one cost-effective method to handle departures and make sure your staff grow side by side with the company.
8) Automate your IT services
Another realistic way to reduce IT costs is to convert manual IT services to more automated processes.
A recent study determined that trivial manual processes like asking for password resets, printing out physical invoices, asking for permissions to shared folders and printers etc, account for 20-50% of service desk calls. This means that precious hours -that you pay for- that could be utilized in production is wasted engaging in simple tasks. When you make use of automated IT services, these processes become automated through the use of algorithms.
These algorithms become in charge of permission, refreshing printers and other IT equipment, etc without any interference from members of your staff thus freeing your IT staff's time enabling them to perform better and save money. You can then channel these resources to other needed aspects.
You can also make use of technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence to study and determine the best ways to make important business decisions. These automation can process data that the normal human cannot in a faster and more accurate way. This means that your work process becomes error free, faster and cost efficient leading to greater productivity and reliability which helps to boost sales and reduce IT costs.
You do not need to use all the strategies outlined in this article. But incorporating just a few of these strategies is likely to make changes in your IT budget and help you reduce IT costs.
Bacula is committed to keeping the IT costs of its customers right down. It’s open source - based backup and recovery software represents especially high value - and when combined with its unusually broad range of features, usually means you can use it to provide highly scalable, enterprise grade backup and restore to your entire IT estate - all from one single platform. Bacula’s capabilities to recover data spans practically all Virtual, Cloud, Physical and Container technologies. It also has a special architecture to provide especially strong protection from ransomware, combined with a range of special ransomware detection features. Feel free to reach out to us for more tips and guidelines on how to decrease IT costs, and modernize your IT environment.