As an IT manager, keeping operations up and running while staying within budget can be a challenge, especially when it seems like many IT costs are fixed. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep costs low without sacrificing the performance of you and your team.
What’s more, these methods and strategies show that many of these IT costs aren’t quite as fixed as you might have first thought.
To help you save money, stay on budget and ensure you’re only buying what you need, keep your costs in check with this selection of useful tips and strategies.
Know what you need
Have you ever thought about what your IT department needs? It’s always nice to have the latest software and top-of-the-range hardware, but their capabilities come at a premium. Before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to sit down and define your needs.
For instance, if your system only needs internet access, reconsider splashing out on powerful tech that’s going to chew through your department’s budget. Take a step back, make notes of you and your team’s requirements, and make sure you’re only buying what you need.
Create virtual servers using containers
If your department still has dedicated servers, then consider partitioning them to allow multiple applications so that hardware can be shared to save money. You can go a step further, too, by making your own virtual containers.
Linux containers are self-contained runtime environments. In a container environment, you only install what you need to run an application – nothing more. They’re lightweight and portable, and since they can be run on the same box and have a smaller footprint, it’s possible to reduce your hardware costs when using them.
Use cheaper hardware
As well as the use of containers, another way to optimise your hardware is by using cheaper devices to run applications. It’s possible to link powerful PCs together in ways that can perform just as well as mid-range servers.
Get on the cloud
If you’re not on the cloud, you should be. By eliminating the need for onsite equipment and maintenance support, you can make long-term reductions in operating costs.
Plus, cloud solutions are scalable too, so they can be up- and down-scaled to align with the ebbs and flows of the business.
Not sure where to start with the cloud? We’ve compared a range of cloud platforms to see which one might be right for your business.
Taking a look at your software licences can reveal some great opportunities to save money. For starters, most software isn’t free, and there’s a good chance you’re paying for licences you no longer need.
Looking for some other ways to reduce your software licensing costs? Read our guide on reducing spend and optimising your software’s value and efficiency.
Or, if it’s quality free and low-cost alternatives to expensive professional software you’re in the market for, we’ve got you covered here.
Consolidate systems and solutions
Through consolidating systems into one streamlined, modern platform, it’s possible to save money by reducing the resources needed to support multiple platforms.
Additionally, removing legacy systems tends to decrease the amount you’d spend on repair costs, since new platforms are generally far less time-consuming to repair compared to legacy systems.
Manage your contractors
If your department uses contractors, then be sure to keep an eye on their costs. Sometimes it’s easier to view them separately from employee costs because contractor expenses aren’t subject to the same scrutiny. Alternatively, some businesses may opt for higher-priced contractors because they believe it’s better should business conditions change.
To ensure greater visibility of contractors, stay up to date on the number of contractors you have, how much you’re paying them, and how much overtime they’re working (an important hidden cost). Doing so will encourage you to better manage contractor resources.
Implement stringent cybersecurity measures
When devices are infected by malware and viruses, costs can spiral out of control. Not only are you paying for repairs and replacements, but there’s also the time to fix the device, the number of files and work lost, and the potential loss of a client to factor in. On top of that, there’s the cost of a temporary device and the inefficiency of employees waiting for machine restoration.
How can you avoid paying the price of cybercrime? By implementing stronger and stricter virus policies and software across your IT department. Our article on free and affordable cybersecurity tools to help your budget go further is a great place to start.
Create self-help resources for common issues
The cost of calling a help desk is about ten times as much as having a staff member rectify an issue themselves. By providing simple help resources for a range of common issues, you can make some excellent long-term savings.
Consider creating screencast videos that your employees can watch whenever they encounter an issue.
Combine your internet and phone service provider
Combining business internet and phone services under one supplier can help reduce operational overheads. Suppliers offer lower pricing for multi-service packages, and you’ll also benefit from greater synergy across your network, further reducing costs.
Introduce a ‘bring your own device’ policy
A BYOD policy can be a huge boon for IT costs, eliminating the need for replacements and maintenance.
However, one thing to keep in mind: you’ll have to weigh up these initial savings against the cost of extra support time required to manage such a wide range of devices. Previously, you would have had to manage a smaller range of makes and models when you were providing devices, so make sure to factor this into your decision.
CDL is one of the UK’s leading IT disposal companies, working to help private and public businesses safely retire and recycle their outdated IT assets. To find out how we could help your business, or for more of the latest tech news and advice, visit our homepage or call our team today on 0333 060 2846.