Most managers and owners of Houston small- to medium-sized businesses are operating on smaller budgets. Because of this, they always look for new ways to minimize costs, and luckily, there are many ways to do this. One specific area to look at that could greatly minimize costs is technology. As I’m sure you know, technology is far from cheap but of course there’s always a way to keep your expenses down.
Here are five simple steps to reduce your IT spending:
1. Document Absolutely Everything
Your use of technology will grow simultaneously with your company and naturally it will need replacing over time. It’s likely that you won’t be able to afford replacing all of your systems at the same time, meaning you will have to track down the systems and software that you need to replace; which will take a lot of your time and money.
The best way to reduce costs and manage your systems better is by documenting all of your systems, software, etc. Document where it’s located, who’s in charge of it and when it was executed so you can assure you’re able to track these things down when necessary.
2. Always Back Everything Up
Many small to medium companies keep the majority of important files on one server, or even a couple different computers, but as many of you are already aware, technology doesn’t last forever. Eventually, your computer and/or server will stop working and when this happens, your files could easily be lost. The cost of recovering lost files is very high. Therefore it’s a great idea to invest in a reliable, solid backup platform that should run on a regular basis.
Of course, this will cost you money now, but when you consider the cost of recovering years worth of data. Suddenly it becomes a very good investment to have a copy of your data and systems that can easily be employed in the event that you run into a problem with your files being lost. Back-ups will save you a lot of money in the long run and help you avoid unnecessary stress.
3. Be Sure to Create a Strict Anti-Virus Policy
Employees may still download programs and browser extensions even though you’ve told them not to. You’re at risk simply by having computers and devices that access the internet through your network. This allows the possibility of your system being hacked or infected, in which case you’re exposed to the chance of losing data, paying high recovery costs or worse.
What’s the best way to minimize your chances of Malware infections or being hacked, all while keeping costs down? Install anti-virus software and security solutions on every computer in your system and ensure they can all be run from one machine, making it simple for you or your IT partner to keep the anti-virus software up to date, and always scan regularly.
4. Stay on the Lookout for Fixed-price Resolutions
Predicting costs for technology related systems is typically a major problem because you never know when a fundamental piece of hardware will fail, it’s even harder for those who aren’t exactly proficient in tech; therefore outsourcing is one of the best ways you can save money on IT.
Typically, almost every IT provider will offer a flat-rate service that can cover your systems and guarantee you maximize your IT investment, making budgeting for IT easier because you’ll be certain of what your monthly costs are. This allows you more time and less stress, so you can focus on your business and watch your IT costs.
5. Choose a CRM/ERP/HRM Solution
Look into all the software solutions available that will greatly help you to plan and better run your operations. Solutions like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Human Resources Management (HRM) are a lot more helpful than a simple spreadsheet, which many businesses use to track employee data and planning.
These solutions will reduce future costs by helping you plan more efficiently and spot any hidden costs.
If you’re looking for creative ways to cut your IT expenses, contact us today and we’ll help you find a solution that will lower IT costs and ease your stress. CITOC is your trusted Houston IT service organization.