How National Companies are Saving Money on IT Costs
Across industries, IT spending is on the rise. On average, businesses spend between 5% to 12% of their total revenue on IT services. In tech-heavy industries like financial services or software development, that number can be even higher. Other IT-intensive industries include ecommerce, transportation and logistics, healthcare, and manufacturing.
In 2020, the business community faced unprecedented changes. Companies were forced to adapt to the changing landscape of social distancing, and as a result, companies became more reliant on IT services than ever before. Now that consumers spend more time online and businesses conduct more operations remotely, IT services have become an integral part of every business strategy. Streamlining your IT services is an investment in the future of your business. After surveying the industry, our team of IT experts has identified the following ways
The 10 Best Ways to Save Money on Corporate IT Services
If your company has a national reach, consolidating and integrating your IT services will involve any number of solutions below. Our Technology Solutions Program (TSP)® will help your company develop a managed IT strategy to save you money and time.
1. Virtual LAN (VLAN) & Network Virtualization
As more employees transition to telework and work-from-home positions, virtualization technology has become a core element of long-term business growth. Network virtualization technology allows software to run on remote devices, using systems like virtual desktop infrastructure and VLAN. Rather than being on-site, network virtualization allows users to interact with a virtual company network. To get the most of cloud-based computing software, your IT department needs to understand the basics of VLAN and network virtualization.
Virtualization technology also provides increased IT security. IT managers can remotely interact with devices to restrict user access and prevent data breaches. Virtualization can also help your company save on software licensing by reducing hardware redundancies on the network. Virtualization has the added benefit of increasing the speed of your network capabilities.
2. Conduct an IT Audit
Before making any major IT decisions, your business needs data. You need reliable information about your current IT infrastructure, including what hardware your company is running and what software licenses you own. The first and most important step of revamping your IT system is getting the full picture.
An IT audit is the only way to understand how your IT department works from the ground up. By conducting an IT audit, your company will have a full inventory of the software, hardware, networking, and telecommunications systems currently in place. Reviewing and understanding this data is an essential part of a comprehensive IT review.
3. Enhanced Cybersecurity
The threat of potential data breaches requires a vigilant guard of your private company data. From payroll information to internal trade secrets, your company needs to invest in keeping its data safe. A comprehensive cybersecurity protocol requires a number of programs to stop threats before they compromise your system. First, your company needs a network security system that utilizes the latest practices in authentication and firewall protection. Next, your IT department needs endpoint security, so that every device has trusted antivirus and advanced threat detection (ATD) software. Other components of a comprehensive IT cybersecurity program include intrusion prevention systems (IPS), malicious traffic detection (MTD), and SSL interception.
Consulting a cybersecurity expert is the best way to improve your IT security protocols. Enhanced cybersecurity reduces your exposure to cyberthreats and data breaches. Ransomware, malware, phishing, DDoS attacks, and SQL injection attacks are just a few of the ever-growing list of cybersecurity threats faced by your business. Because cybersecurity threats constantly change, we recommend that your business review and update its IT security program at least once per year.
4. Eliminate IT Inefficiencies
IT experts suggest that as much as 30% of IT budgets are wasted on duplicate or unused applications. Understanding IT services is difficult, so many businesses try to play it safe by purchasing excessive products or services. In reality, most businesses are wasting money on applications or devices they don’t need.
For instance, what is the utilization rate on your company’s servers? A study by EnergyStar finds that most companies use between 6% to 12% of the computing power of their on-site servers. In other words, your company is likely overspending on hardware costs, electricity costs, and maintenance costs. As another example, how many programs does your company use to conduct a single videoconference? For many companies, this single task requires at least four different applications: an email client, a workflow management system, a calendar application, and video hosting software. In most cases, a single application may be able to handle all of these tasks at once, without overpaying on duplicate software licenses or spending unnecessary time shuffling between applications. An experienced IT professional will help you get the most out of the applications you’re already licensing.
5. Combining Voice & Data Technology
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows companies to save on telecommunications costs and contracts. Many companies pay separate bills for both phone service and internet. By combining voice and data technology, companies can eliminate their phone bill entirely by relying on internet-based call service—all with faster speeds and greater reliability. VoIP business phone systems allow your company to operate its call system via the cloud, so that you can make and receive business calls from your mobile phone or work computer. VoIP technology also provides more robust business customization options, allowing your company to develop its brand presence with every customer call. Finally, VoIP technology is easily integrated with other software applications, so that you can get the most out of your combined voice and data systems.
6. Helpdesk Support 24/7
Does your business have an emergency plan for when IT problems arise? Every business faces routine IT problems, from website crashes to email server issues. When IT disasters strike, your business can’t wait hours for a technician to return your call—you need someone available on the spot to resolve the issue. When it comes to tech emergencies, every IT professional knows that it’s a matter of when, not if.
To avoid business disruption, 24/7 helpdesk support is the most cost-effective way to keep the IT department running smooth. An IT helpdesk is another part of a comprehensive risk management strategy, getting your business up and running without any tech-related mishaps. Many helpdesk companies provide IT support on a month-to-month basis, with some even providing unlimited user support.
7. Consolidate IT Services
When it comes to IT management, less is more. The most important step of an enterprise IT solution is consolidation. To consolidate IT services, an IT technician will ensure that all of your business devices, employees, and locations are optimized to run on the same settings and systems. This strategy avoids software redundancies and reduces the time spent on IT troubleshooting. Having an organized and streamlined IT program is essential to saving money on your tech bills.
After conducting an IT audit and eliminating inefficient budgetary constraints, your business can focus on its key areas of growth. With an IT strategy that’s focused on a core group of programs and systems, your company will minimize IT-related headaches and increase productivity. Best of all, you can reinvest the savings into the things that matter most for your business.
8. Grow Your IT Staff With No Overhead
After the economic turmoil of 2020, businesses need innovative ways to save money and cut costs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Network and Computer Systems Administrator makes over $83,000 per year. Even with a relatively small IT department, these salaries add up quickly. As your business becomes more dependent on technology, you can grow your IT department by expanding some tech services to an outsourced IT company.
A managed IT services company can provide specialized areas of IT support, all without having to hire an in-house specialist. Overall, your business can save tens of thousands of dollars per year by referring complicated IT tasks to third-party experts. Outsourced IT specialists do not require the same level of training, onboarding, or tax liabilities associated with in-house IT staff. Managed IT services can be used to supplement your existing IT department, giving you a more robust and cost-effective tech strategy.
9. Cloud Backup Protection
In the event of a power outage, cyberattack, network failure, or natural disaster, many companies risk the possibility of a total data loss. This kind of unexpected tech disaster could permanently wipe out all of your company’s online data, from emails to website content to software. Cloud backup systems are the best solution to avoid this ever-present risk. Cloud backup services work by storing your business data and files on a remote server. Because your business files are saved to the cloud, you can quickly and easily recover files even if the on-site hardware is damaged or destroyed. Online data backup is a critical component of IT risk management. While these services usually require some upfront costs, they can save your business from otherwise crippling tech disasters.
10. Cable and Server Management
The physical setup of your network matters. In fact, optimizing the organization of your server room can result in tangible benefits to your business, all while saving you money. A professionally managed server room will increase airflow to servers, reducing overheating and cutting the costs on your power bill. Cable management services also increase the speed of maintenance and repairs. With a properly organized server room, IT technicians can diagnose and solve network problems faster, rather than having to deal with tangled and unorganized cables.
Unorganized servers can also cause signal interference in your network, resulting in slowdowns and lagging network speeds. As your business grows and requires more networking capacity, you need a strategy to meet your IT needs responsibly and efficiently. Professional cable and server management will put your business in a position to rapidly scale its tech needs.
How to Get Started: Request a Free IT Evaluation
To get the most out of your IT department, it all starts with a free evaluation from TIE National, LLC. Our comprehensive IT review can pinpoint strategies to save your business money, consolidate IT services, and manage your tech needs. Since 2003, our team of industry professionals has helped national corporations roll out large-scale IT projects.
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