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Tips to reduce IT costs
When it comes to IT systems, knowing what can be reduced, cancelled or modified can be very confusing for the non-tech savvy business owner or manager. Below we have listed 6 cost saving strategies for business.
Step 1: Review and save money with your Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions
When is comes to Microsoft 365, cost savings could be right there in front of you. You can save costs by just asking the right questions.
Have employees left your business?
The quickest way to reduce your ongoing subscription costs is to audit all current users in Microsoft 365.
Do you have active mailboxes for users that have since left the business? You can backup their mailbox remove the Microsoft 365 license in the portal and reduce the number of required licenses.
Are you utilising Microsoft’s shared mailbox feature?
If you have mailboxes that are shared by multiple staff and are not used as a employees main mailbox you can convert them into a shared mailbox within Microsoft 365. The great thing about making this change is shared mailboxes in Microsoft 365 don’t require a license. That’s right! You can use a shared mailbox for free, saving you dollars on subscriptions.
There are many small businesses who don’t take advantage of the shared mailbox. Instead they will create a normal mailbox for shared email and assign a license. Review all your mailboxes to see if any are suitable to change over to a shared mailbox.
Do you have the appropriate Microsoft 365 licenses assigned?
Last but not least, review your Microsoft 365 licensing. On the 30th of March 2020, Microsoft overhauled their licensing naming conventions. So now businesses will mainly be using either Microsoft Business Basic, Microsoft Business Standard or Microsoft Business Premium. Make sure you have the appropriate licensing in place for each user.
Many businesses now use Microsoft 365.
Step 2: Review other 3rd Party software licensing for cost savings
This can be a pretty lengthy process depending on the size of the organisation but using this cost saving strategy can be considerable.
Are you using third party applications like Xero, Adobe, MYOB and PDF editors?
You will need to review all these and reduce the amount of licenses required to match the users/devices you currently have in use. The other option is to switch over to a monthly subscription so you have more flexibility with adding or removing licenses when required instead of being locked into twelve or twenty four month contracts.
When was the last time you audited Anti-Virus or Backup software?
Anti-Virus and Backup software seem to get overlooked when it comes to looking for IT cost savings.
With your Anti-Virus software, what options are you currently licensed for, and do you need all the bells and whistles? Does the amount of licenses allocated match the number of machines active in your business?
Are you using Backup software for on premise or off premise purposes? If so are you getting the best pricing and utilising all your backup licenses?
Reviewing all software licensing is one of many cost saving strategies for businesses.
Step 3: Review your current web hosting arrangements
Is your website hosted in Australia?
Hosting plans vary considerably from host to host. As a rule of thumb for an Australian business, you really need your website hosted in Australia. Along with other measures this will help improve speed and reduce the latency of your website for your local customer base.
Are you on the right hosting plan suited to your business?
The typical host provider charges include website hosting, SSL Certificates to make the website secure (https rather than http) and domain name hosting which refers to www.yourbusiness.com.au.
Domain name hosting is pretty affordable and averages around $30 per year. The significant costs arise from web hosting and the associated SSL certificate.
To reduce costs review what you are currently paying for both the hosting and SSL certificate. Then see if the hosting plan you are on is the most suitable for your website / business needs. Adjust the plan or look at other providers who may have more suitable pricing for your business requirements.
Free website hosting anyone?
Boost IT is offering business-grade free high performance web hosting to Australian small businesses. The data center is located on Australian based servers, and you will have a local team look after you. It includes a free SSL certificate for 12 months.
We also assist with migrating your website over to Boost IT for free. Click here for more information. This is one of many cost saving strategies for business.
Fast web hosting can improve how Google ranks your website, and improves online customer service. No one likes waiting on a slow page to load.
Step 4: Review your internet and network link charges
This can be a very time consuming process but money can be saved over the long term.
Are you receiving the best speed and service for your IT dollar?
Technology is changing quickly and pricing for business grade internet and network link providers is getting cheaper. If you’re still under contract for your internet and network links, the next step is to contact your current provider.
Check whether it’s possible to move to a more cost effective plan. Sometimes they will offer a revised price with the same speed you currently have for another 12 month commitment.
If you are out of contract with your provider and on a month to month contract, the first port of call is to still see what your current provider can offer. Once you have their best offer, cross check with quotes from other providers. If you’re not happy with your current provider’s service or pricing, move to alternative provider.
Who manages the routers for your service?
Don’t forget to ensure you have any equipment which includes routers managed by your current provider included in quotes. Also make sure they provide pricing on any installation fees upfront. This way you will be able to calculate the true cost of moving and work out if changing providers is worthwhile.
Australia has many ISP’s big and small to choose from.
Step 5: Review your IT support costs
There are now a range of IT support options for Australian businesses. What if there was a new cost effective approach to IT support where you only pay for what you use?
Are you paying too much for IT support?
Many IT providers like to lock businesses into long support contracts where you are charged per user/device each month at a fixed rate. For some businesses this may work as the accounting department has a fixed monthly amount to be paid which makes it easier to budget for and forecast future business IT expenses.
The flip side is overall this model can be more expensive especially if you have no need to call the provider for support. Another option is finding an IT provider who is more flexible on pricing so you only pay for adhoc IT support.
What to look for in a Managed Services provider
- Does the provider charge in hourly blocks or 15 minute increments?
- Is remote and onsite support provided?
- Are you being charge for travel time?
- What is the hourly rate and is it competitive?
- Any discounts provided and Pre-Pay options available?
Boost IT ticks all the boxes above. We provide Pre-Pay and Post Pay IT Support options. To find out more, click here.
Reviewing current IT Support arrangements is not for the faint-hearted.
Step 6: Review your IT staffing model
Juggling IT staff can be time consuming for IT managers. What if you could expand on demand and scale down again without having to go through the time consuming hiring process?
Is your IT department overstaffed?
IT staff creep is a common problem for IT Managers. Over time the IT headcount slowly increases to cover the increasing number of projects being thrown at the IT team.
Sometimes as an IT Manager you need to stand back and review the current tasks, projects and support cases.
Do you have the right combination of resourcing and IT skills within the team to action tasks efficiently and effectively? Do some tasks or projects only require a resource to be onsite one, two or three days a week? If so you might have a staffing / skills mismatch. Looking at an adhoc IT staffing model could be beneficial in this scenario.
One of many cost saving strategies for business is to review Ad-Hoc IT Staff
For those businesses who have an internal IT department, it makes sense to bring in resources when required.
This will allow the IT manager to lower the head count and bring in manpower when required for overflow or an IT Project. Over time this model can reduce the over all costs associated with IT.
Getting resources in ad-hoc to tackle tasks like PC rollouts, assisting with Helpdesk support or covering staff who go on leave makes sense. This approach can be a cost effective way of freeing up internal IT staff day to day and allow them to focus on IT projects.
Boost IT have been assisting Australian based IT departments with on-site ad-hoc staff for over 16 years. We make managing resources easier for IT Managers and offer a fixed daily rate to help drive down IT costs. Click here for more information.
Need help reducing IT Costs?
We can assist you through the process of identifying and implementing IT cost savings.