COVID-19 seems to have brought the whole world to its knees, and many American businesses have been negatively affected.
The unexpected restrictions of so many activities has significantly impacted both small and large organizations, costing them money that can be difficult to recoup. As a result, many businesses are searching for ways to cut down drastically on operational costs—including in high-budget areas such as IT—while being careful not to sacrifice the quality and security IT offers.
Don’t worry; while cybersecurity is still essential (and perhaps more so now than ever), you can cut IT costs without putting your business at risk. Here are five ways to drastically and safely cut down IT costs during the pandemic.
1. Consolidate Software
One effective way to cut IT costs is to take into consideration how your remote workforce changed your needs and then consolidate software where possible. A remote tool like Microsoft Teams, for example, can be an excellent way to store applications all in one platform rather than pay for several different program subscriptions.
In addition to this, business owners should also reevaluate per-user agreements. Doing so will eliminate unnecessary costs such as paying for per-user equipment or software for past employees, especially because your workforce has likely shrunk as a result of COVID-19.
Try to create a universal software solution that can be used across different departments. This also offers the advantage of allowing your team members to easily work together and collaborate more effectively.
2. Migrate to the Cloud
Opting for a cloud migration can help businesses to save a lot of money by giving them access to more scalable and versatile IT solutions.
Instead of spending money on expensive hardware and on-prem servers, businesses are saving money by moving to cloud-based storage solutions under a pay-as-you-go model. They only pay for the storage they need, and they can easily scale their workloads up or down as needed without costly infrastructure changes.
Plus, aside from their affordability, cloud-based solutions offer versatility. With different cloud platforms to choose from, businesses can connect their remote teams simply and effectively, boosting productivity and profits in return. Cloud operations are also highly secured and backed-up, giving you peace of mind that your data is always kept safe and accessible (and saving you money by preventing data loss).
3. Switch to VoIP Phone Systems
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, a phone system that enables you to make calls over the Internet rather than using traditional hardwired phones. This trending technology is capable of converting voice into a digital signal and allows you to make calls over several different devices.
VoIP systems are not only ideal for remote workforces for this reason; they are also much more cost-effective than traditional PBX systems. For example, a system used by 12 users can cost about $300-500 on VoIP per month. However, the same number of users can expect to be charged about $2,500 per month when using a landline. This factors in service fees, which are costly since they are separate from your Internet service.
4. Establish a BYOD Policy
BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, policies are designed to encourage workers to bring their own devices and gadgets to work. For businesses working remotely during the pandemic, a BYOD policy allows employees to use their own devices at home.
As simple as this policy sounds, it can actually do a great deal to cut down costs as well as boost the morale of employees by allowing them to use their own devices. By allowing them to use their own devices, you save money in having to purchase computers and other equipment for each employee.
Keep in mind, though, as the business owner or team leader, you need to ensure that whatever devices your team uses complies with cybersecurity best practices and your company’s privacy policies. This is because doing so will help avoid any additional costs linked to data breaches, not to mention reputational damage that can incur further costs.
5. Outsource Your IT
In uncertain financial times such as this COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a great idea to look outside your company for more cost-effective ways of managing your company’s IT. Several companies are opting for managed IT services as an effective way of supporting their overworked IT team and helping save costs.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can help businesses save money on a month-to-month basis as they cost about the same as one salaried employee. They also save you money by eliminating costs associated with downtime, unused equipment, and more.
By employing these strategies in your own business, you can greatly reduce current costs and maximize your technology investments to help you now and in the future. By finding safe, effective ways to cut back your IT budget, you can protect your company from both data loss and unnecessary costs.