One of the keys for a financially successful business is careful tracking of costs. Some of the basic costs you might not spare a second thought for often add over time. These could be anything from paper clips and office coffee pods, through to staff travel.
Business technology, such as phones and computers, are even more critical and need to be carefully cost tracked. With many businesses facing tighter operating conditions and falling profitability due to the COVID-19-enforced lockdown, now is a great time to review your office essentials. Here are some tips to help you evaluate and potentially save money on your business technology.
Where you choose to host your data and applications can have big cost implications. First, you need to consider your cloud solution. Is it a public or private cloud and is it the best solution for your business? And, is it a subscription-based service? Subscription services can often be a more cost-effective option and are fast becoming much more prevalent in the workplace. Along with potential savings, you'll also eliminate most up-front expenses on equipment and have more predictable cash flow.
If you're not using a cloud-based infrastructure, then you will be hosting your data and apps yourself. You need to assess the total costs of doing this, including hardware, software, upkeep and related staff salaries. Additionally, if your staff are working from home (WFH), access to onsite data may be impacted, with VPN access causing some headaches amongst remote workers, you'll need to ensure staff are able to access all that they need to do their job effectively.
You also need to consider your data security. As technology evolves and becomes smarter, so do cybercriminals. No matter the size of your business, a simple data breach can have a crippling effect that may cost you your business. Does your hosting solution adequately protect your business from these constant threats?
Assessing your IT inventory can be difficult, as you need to identify exactly what your needs are and whether you are under- or over-supplied. This is generally easiest to consider on a per-employee basis.
If you purchased your current IT equipment in one upfront payment (or many smaller ones), you will find that it is sitting on your balance sheet depreciating. As technology becomes obsolete at an ever-increasing rate due to rapid advancement, many businesses are finding that the fleet of expensive laptops they purchased need replacement much sooner than expected.
Also consider whether your IT equipment is fit for purpose. Is your current IT offering scalable; can it easily grow or shrink based on fluctuations in staff numbers? Are all staff equipped with devices that are fit for their role and responsibilities so that they're not using underpowered or unnecessarily overpowered IT hardware?
Finally, is your equipment managed and reported on efficiently and effectively? Are you getting timely and detailed reports on the state and usage of your IT equipment?
If your answer to any of these questions is no, then Device as a Service (DaaS) is an increasingly popular option that could help you streamline your IT fleet. DaaS can help you manage your devices more effectively, all wrapped in one monthly per-employee cost.
Most offices still use old-school 'hardphones' (landlines) for essential communication. Is this optimal for your business? Many staff members, particularly sales reps and others who are on the road, shouldn't be tied to an office phone. You may find that the business-wide use of a softphone (the modern app and software program equivalent of an old desk phone) is the most effective communication option. This is particularly useful when your staff are often out of the office, or when travelling between the office and home.
Is your fleet of printers providing what you need, or have you been 'oversold' equipment that your staff don't use? Do your current printers function effectively for your different departments and do they cover your industry needs? Consider which departments have specific needs, such as colour printing, different paper sizes and specialist printing needs. Were your printers purchased upfront and are you having to outlay for consumables such as paper, toner and ink? Finally, who is managing your printers? Are your staff responsible for booking service calls when there is a breakdown, or is this managed externally?
Moving to a managed print service can not only take away hassle of service calls and toner orders from your staff, so that they can focus on higher value tasks, but it can help reduce costs and have a more predictable cash flow.
If you have considered these points and are concerned that your business technology is sub-optimal in cost and effectiveness, we can help. We're currently working with clients to reduce costs on business technology essentials through leveraging current IT assets to improve cash at bank, and creating alignment between technology and needs so that your staff have tools they need, and your costs are optimised.
Has a managed service offering to suit every unique need. Free up your staff from your office and lift productivity. Cut costs by taking advantage of our three to six month payment holidays on technology agreements. You can also renegotiate existing technology agreements to help reduce current costs.