Coronavirus lockdown measures in Arizona and other parts of the country have quickly altered how people spend their money, causing many small and medium-sized businesses to watch their revenue streams dry up. Even those who have so far been relatively unaffected have become more concerned with their spending and the various ways they can optimize it.
One way SMBs can save money in these trying times is through IT budget optimization. When done correctly, IT budget optimization can not only result in reduced IT costs but also in streamlined business operations. Let’s explore some of the most popular IT budget optimization tips all SMBs should consider.
Review Your Existing Contracts
As a small business, you should never hesitate to discuss your financial situation with your vendors. You might be surprised by how many vendors will be happy to help you by offering a discount or making the payment terms more flexible, especially if you have a long-term relationship with them.
While you’re reviewing existing contracts, look for opportunities to consolidate your vendors. By reducing the number of vendors that take care of your IT needs, you get to enjoy a greater purchasing power, improved vendor management, and the ability to negotiate better terms of service.
Take Advantage of the Hardware as a Rental (HaaR) Model
Technology keeps advancing at a rapid pace, and it can be difficult for SMBs to equip their employees with updated PCs and laptops that don’t stand in the way of their productivity. Fortunately, they can take advantage of the Hardware as a Rental (HaaR) model, which combines some of the best advantages of leasing and Hardware as a Service (or HaaS)
Just like a lease, an HaaR agreement has a fixed term and an SMB can choose the length that best fits its needs. When renting PCs and laptops, it’s a good idea to go with a shorter agreement than when renting servers and other networking equipment. Similar to Hardware as a Service (HaaS), the HaaR model is a hassle-free solution that takes care of all hardware needs an SMB may have with a single invoice. These and other advantages make it the right choice for all SMBs that want to make the most of their limited IT budget.
Embrace Open Source Software
Embracing open source software doesn’t mean switching all employees from Windows or macOS to Linux. It means taking open source software into consideration when choosing the correct tool for a specific business challenge to avoid spending money on expensive software licenses when suitable open source alternatives are readily available.
Contrary to popular belief, the quality of open source software sometimes exceeds the quality of commercial products. Some developers even offer commercial support at an additional cost, especially when it comes to more enterprise-oriented projects, such as SugarCRM, a customer relationship management system.
Move Workloads to the Cloud
It’s estimated that 70 to 80 percent of IT budgets are spent maintaining and supporting the existing technical environment, and only 20-30 percent are dedicated to innovation. That’s because it takes a lot of time and effort to keep even a relatively small IT infrastructure running smoothly.
As such, moving workloads to the cloud is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of IT maintenance. In addition to cost-savings, there’s a whole host of other benefits SMBs can enjoy when they stop being dependent on physical hardware, including improved collaboration, greater productivity, and virtually limitless scalability.
Outsource to a Managed Services Provider
The average wage for IT staff in the United States is over $85,000, according to Glassdoor. For most SMBs, it’s financially unsustainable to hire even one full-time staff member, and we’re not even going to dive deep into the problem of actually finding one considering the ongoing IT talent shortage.
The good news is that small businesses don’t have to take care of their IT needs in-house. They can partner with a managed services provider and cut IT costs by as much as 40 percent while doubling operational efficiency.
An experienced MSP can proactively suggest new technology to help the business maintain a competitive edge while allowing it to remain focused on its core competencies. With such a business partner, even SMBs with limited resources gain the ability to quickly respond to changing circumstances, such as those created by the coronavirus pandemic.
At Spectrum Technology Solutions, we work with small and medium-sized businesses in Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ, delivering worry-free IT solutions and helping our clients keep their budgets under control. If you’re ready to optimize your IT spending, contact us today.