The IT infrastructure that holds your business together is often very costly. The thing is, it’s the kind of cost that many people simply are not willing to look at – it’s either something that is too difficult to understand for a non-IT professional, or it’s a something that inspires an ‘if it’s not broken don’t try to fix it’ attitude.
In reality though, there are often ways that you can significantly reduce the cost of your company’s IT infrastructure – and many of them don’t need an IT-expert level of understanding to see big financial savings.
Here, we’ll explore a number of areas you might want to explore – after all, if you can get the same or better performance for less outlay, it makes sense to keep the money in the business…
Look at outsourcing your IT support to an MSP
A huge amount of the expense that comes with IT relates to the staffing that’s required to keep the lights on and make sure everything is working as it should.
If your business is just getting off the ground and you’re looking at the costs involved with having your own team, you might be surprised. The annual salary that an IT professional attracts isn’t extortionate of course – instead, it’s the sheer hours that you need to cover to make sure your systems are up and running as they should be.
If you need your IT network to work around the clock, you’ll often need to make sure it’s staffed around the clock. And if you want to make sure you’ve got cover when your team have vacations or sickness, you’re going to need a team that’s got depth enough to cover the full year.
The trouble is, many of these hours of support will be somewhat wasted. An in-house team staffed to this extent if often just an insurance policy – just in case something goes wrong. Rather than paying for an in-house team that will often run at just a fraction of its potential, it’s worth looking into working with a managed service provider instead.
A good MSP will already be working with a number of other clients – so your requirements will simply be added to the existing provision they have. Cost will be massively reduced when compared to an in-house team – and you won’t have to make any compromises in the quality of the service you receive either, as virtually all MSPs work to a service level agreement that’s comparable to an employment contract.
Review your internet connection deal
There’s a good chance that your internet connection is working perfectly fine as it is – and this is exactly why many companies choose to leave it well alone. This is especially likely to be the case if the idea of changing your provider would represent any IT downtime for the company – as this comes with significant cost implications.
The result is, there are many businesses who simply are not getting the best deal for their money.
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to gauge whether or not you could save some money – it’s worth asking yourself how recently your managed network provision was put into place, whether you’ve had a similar (or the same) deal on your connection for the last 4-5 years – or, if you have renegotiated, whether you’ve been offered a significantly better deal – or just a bit of money off and some bandwidth improvements.
The truth is, the last few years have seen some big jumps forward in the value of the packages that connection providers offer. Even if you have been offered a better package in this time, you might find that you’re now entitled to more.
Now is a good time to shop around. Explore some alternative providers and don’t be afraid of a little disruption. Any new provider is likely to bend over backwards to make sure you’re up and running without any issues.
Look at hybrid network options
In the past, there were limited options around how you connected your businesses to the wider internet. Now though, there are many different options – and some of those come at significantly reduced prices, depending on your needs.
Where we used to rely on private circuits and switched networks connecting us to the wider world, we now tend to operate hybrid networks that can potentially incorporate different connection types to ensure the best fit and best price across the board.
Don’t misunderstand, redesigning and opting for new hybrid network isn’t going to be something that saves on spending in the short term. Putting new infrastructure into place is going to have a capital expenditure impact – but, in the medium-term, you’re likely to find that this more sophisticated technology adds value for your end-users, and brings down connections costs across the board.
Deisgning and implementing a hybrid network isn’t something you’ll be able to do without the appropriate IT support – but if you don’t have that in-house, it’s a good time to develop a relationship with an MSP who could go on to support and your overall IT in the long-term too.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match connection providers
If you’re not planning on completely overhauling your network, you should at least look at the different connection types you have servicing each of your sites. Chances are, if they’re all provided by the same carrier, you could reduce your costs by looking at choosing different carriers for your different geographical locations.
It’s pretty standard that a company will talk to you about a deal that sees all your sites covered – but, in most cases, there will be better deals to be had if you’re happy to negotiate prices with different providers for each site. It’s an approach that’s going to take you more time to get right, but the financial impact can be significant over time – and, if you are switching to a hybrid WAN set-up, you’ll have the flexibility of being able to combine any tech with any carrier’s connection.