Finding ways to save on IT costs doesn’t have to mean stunting development. Here are three ways to cut your budget while maintaining quality services.
This year we may be celebrating (if that’s the right word) ten years since the start of the Great Recession, but companies everywhere are still feeling the pinch. And while the tech and IT industries have seen immense growth over the past few years, these are still times when any company would like to lower IT costs whenever possible.
Which then raises the question: how to lower IT costs in a way that won’t reflect badly on the quality of your products and services?
They say that you have to spend money if you want to save money, and in a number of ways that’s true. Making sure you have an effective infrastructure and a qualified team is absolutely non-negotiable. But that said, there are many other ways that respectable companies can lower IT costs without
critically affecting their business.
What does this look like? We’ve listed a few ways right here below:
Start thinking about open source
What’s one of the largest annual purchases that keep IT costs high? Licensing fees. Not only are we talking about some rather large transactions (one expert
writes that some purchases run upwards of seven digits), but one-time fees are very quickly transforming into annual subscriptions.
But what can companies do about this? A lot of licensed software is now standard-issue, and they produce file types that can be hard to open in other programs without running into formatting problems. That, and they try to make users dependent so that they have less freedom to try other programs out. What makes it worse, many tech companies might see it as more cost-effective to keep using familiar software than take a risk on something new.
This is where open-source programs come in.
Built by a community that tries to work around these very issues, developers who create open source software believe in promoting versions that work just as well as their expensive counterpart. At a fraction of the price. Many open source tools happen to be free as well, and publish their code so that companies can adapt programs to suit their needs.
Looking for a place to start? Here’s a list of software you can start downloading today – low IT costs have never been easier!
Act smart with your servers
Many companies might not realize that a few tweaks to your server network is a time-tested way to cut down on your IT costs. While it might not seem to be as substantial a drag on your tech budget as licensed software, forgetting to optimize your servers can have costs pile up without your even knowing it.
Luckily there are two major ways to optimize your servers: virtualization, and embracing the cloud.
While virtualization might sound like the premise for a science fiction disaster movie, what it actually refers to is a way to use one set of hardware to run multiple systems at once. Traditionally, one physical computer supports one operating system and a corresponding set of profiles, but when virtualization is switched on you can run as many different OS versions as you want (so long as you have the memory and processing power). This can save
your business money that would otherwise be wasted on extra hardware.
Another effective way to lower IT costs is to upload your files onto the cloud whenever possible. If you have a company that deals in large amounts of data (with a fast internet connection to boot), then you’ll be much better served migrating all that information off your servers so you can consolidate your hardware and spend less on
energy and maintenance.
Rethink your equipment choices
While it only gets easier to throw out the old and buy something new, taking a second look at the ‘junk’ littering the office might help save on some major IT costs. Did you know that
approximately 39% of the average company’s IT budget is spent on hardware alone? Making a few key choices can help allocate those funds to more effective uses.
It can be tempting to toss aging desktop towers into the trash bin, but a few handy tricks can repurpose aging hardware. Frayed cable ends can be repaired, and sometimes a good tune up can bring any old device up to speed. Old towers and processors can be hooked up in Linux clusters. At any rate, if you’re looking to replace company desktops you can still clear out old data and sell the equipment online. In many states you can even donate them to charity for a tax write-off.
Making smart purchases can keep IT costs low as well. While it might seem unsettling for some, buying used equipment is always cheaper than buying new – what’s more, many private users sell old equipment without knowing that a clean factory wipe (along with a new part or two) makes it operate just like it was out of the box. Speaking of new parts, investing in new,
better processors for older equipment can save on a new computer as well as energy usage.
Optimize whenever you can
Finding strategies for lowering IT costs doesn’t have to be rocket science. While there are certainly many ways to invest in better systems that’ll save you money in the long run, making discrete changes to systems you already have is still going to pay off. Making sure that your company does regular reviews of purchases, repurposing and optimization is a sure way to make sure you’re on track to sustainable growth and development.
One of the worst things a company can do is cut into the quality of its goods and services in the name of lowering IT costs. But thankfully this isn’t an either-or situation: with these tips you’ll be on the path to keeping within your budget, no matter if you’re a multinational firm or an ambitious startup.