How to save money on IT – part 2
Last week we posted part one of our three part article on how to save money on IT in the coming year. That article covered ways you can maximize the resources you already have by being an outside thinker, always looking around and using facts to help determine your actions. This week, we take a look at inward facing or internal costs.
Here’s how you can maximize your internal IT costs.
Use VoIP and similar digital solutions
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been around for a number of years and many companies, large and small, have integrated it into their offices. Because VoIP uses an Internet connection to send and receive phone calls, there’s no need for expensive cabling and switchboards. Aside from lower overheads, many VoIP providers offer calling rates at a fraction of what most telephone providers charge. So, companies that make lots of long-distance calls can really benefit with VoIP.
While many businesses have integrated VoIP solutions, most don’t go beyond that. If you use a fax machine, did you know that you can either digitize that and ditch the fax machine, integrate it with most modern email programs or use your VoIP connection to transmit fax data.
If you have a sales force who is constantly on the road or giving presentations, why not look into a Web conferencing system. Many systems, like Microsoft’s Lync, allow users to hold conferences and share documents or presentations without having to leave the office.
Invest in the cloud
One of the hottest current trends is the cloud. Currently there are two major types of cloud operations: Cloud storage and cloud based applications. All companies need to store documents. If they go with physical solutions like hard drives, backup tapes etc., it can get very expensive, very quickly. Cloud storage allows you to store all your documents off site, often at a fraction of the cost of physical storage solutions. Beyond that, you will have access to your documents as long as you have an Internet connection.
Cloud based applications come in many varieties, with the most popular being based around the office suite, or a hybrid of storage and application. Solutions like Google Drive which takes Google’s office suite and combines it with a storage and sharing solution, is completely based in the cloud. The goal of Google Drive and other solutions, like Microsoft Office, is largely to provide a platform that enables easy collaboration and sharing at a fraction of the cost of more traditional solutions.
Integrating cloud based solutions can often times save you a ton of money, not only in operating costs but also long-term maintenance. As these services depend on a data connection and not sheer computing power, you won’t have to replace your machines in order to upgrade to new software. This means lower costs all round.
Work with an MSP
While this may seem counter-intuitive – why would a company want to pay to save money? Managed Service Providers (MSP) usually charge a monthly fee and offer a full service solution that aims to keep your systems running. Through preventative monitoring and ensuring systems are running, IT costs are often reduced in the long run. Beyond that, the chances of a major service outage are drastically reduced. Should anything happen to your business MSPs can have you up and running more quickly. allowing you to minimize potential downtime losses.
There are literally thousands of ways you can save money on IT and maximize your resources, and often experts like us can help you extend savings even further. So, why not give us a call and see what we can do. Also, stay tuned for part three of this article, covering how to save money on tech systems that your customers interact with.