One of the keys to success for any business is to control costs. Technology can help reduce costs through added efficiency and agility, but sometimes companies find it a challenge to control the costs of their IT department itself. Here are some tips on controlling those IT costs.
Keep Infrastructure up-to-date
Network devices need to be maintained by applying security patches, operating system updates, software updates and anti-virus updates. Much of this can be automatic. Companies need to ensure an update does not adversely affect installed software. One vendor’s update may have an effect on another vendor’s installed applications, so evaluation of updates and patches is a recommended practice.
Cycle Out Aging Equipment
This does not mean just replacing machines that fail. One of the things that make IT costs go up is the emergency replacement of broken network components. Modern network infrastructures can be monitored to detect signs of impending failure so that action can often be taken before it becomes a problem that affects business productivity.
In addition, equipment and software have a lifecycle, so companies can save costs by making an orderly technology refresh cycle part of their ongoing IT maintenance. Often this can be done in phases, so that the cost of keeping the network modern is spread out and becomes a consistent and manageable part of the IT budget.
Be Prepared for Trouble
Better management of the IT infrastructure will reduce costs of unexpected downtime, but preparing for the unexpected is also wise. Loss of production due to a server crash, data loss, or other disasters (big or small) can make IT costs soar. Create a disaster recovery plan Invest in technology to enable your company to get back up and running quickly when something unforeseen happens. Back up your company’s data and store backed-up data locally and in the cloud. Backup images, too. These can be used to quickly deploy a virtual version of a downed server.
Companies that successfully use technology as a competitive advantage make IT part of the corporate culture and growth plans. They understand that technology isn’t just a set of tools for day-to-day operations. Technology can transform the business and its operations and provide a true competitive advantage. As you make your business plans and set goals for the next year, or two, or five, consider how technology can help your company run more efficiently, achieve agility and be a leader in your market.
Managing IT Costs for Business
Why doesn’t every company follow these 4 tips to control their IT costs? Usually, it’s because they’re too busy running the business. This is where an IT consulting firm can have a huge impact. Engage the services of an IT consulting firm (like Clare Computer Solutions) to implement and maintain these 4 steps, and your company will fully realize the power of technology (and control those IT costs!)