How to Get More From Your IT Budget

How to Get More From Your IT Budget

No one likes to waste money. If you knew that right now your organization was leaking money because of the way IT is managed, you’d want to plug the leak. Some of the ways that you can waste money are due to a lack of oversight on spending. Some are due to poor decisions.

You might feel like you’re spending too much on IT and not seeing a return on your investment when there’s a lot of waste. When you invest in IT in the right ways, however, and you see the results come through in your business – in productivity, customer and employee satisfaction, and improved competitive advantage – you’ll feel like it’s money well spent.

Get a handle on IT spending by identifying where money is going down the drain.

5 Ways You’re Wasting Money on IT

1. Duplicate Services or Products

If you have overlapping services, you have an opportunity to cut costs. For example, Microsoft 365 has a lot of built-in security tools that do the same thing as various stand-alone security applications. It could be that your IT team doesn’t know about all that Microsoft 365 can do, or it could be that they don’t have the expertise to configure the software.

Another service you could paying for twice is data backup if your MSP offers the service and you’re paying for it from another source as well. Your choice on which data backup service you should use should be based on your recovery scenario, and how long you can be without your data. If you haven’t had that conversation about backup, then it’s another sign that you’re not getting your money’s worth.

ACTION ITEM: Go through all of your vendor contracts and billing to identify services and products that overlap.

2. Using the Wrong Technology Tools

While it’s important to not double up on technology tools, it’s even more important to make sure that employees have the right tech tools for their job. For example, if there’s a module of your line-of-business software that’s hard to use, you’re better off getting a stand-alone application or web service to take its place. You may even be able to cancel the module and not continue to pay for updates and licenses.

Another situation is when you’re still using paper and pen, or spreadsheets and manual processes. In these instances, you should consider the use of automation to streamline workflows and remove the possibility of errors. Tools like Microsoft Power Automate do have a cost, but your return in increased productivity and efficiency will be more than worth it.

ACTION ITEM: Review each job role and talk with employees about the work they do every day. Research options when it’s apparent that people are struggling, and find opportunities to use automation to replace slow, complex and manual tasks. If you work with a Managed Service Provider, you should expect them to bring you ideas and options, and assist you in evaluating technology tools.

Related: Still Using Paper, Spreadsheets and Manual Processes? Time for a Power Apps Intervention

3. Runaway Licenses and Subscriptions

You may be paying for licenses and subscriptions that aren’t being used. In many cases this happens when an employee leaves and the off-boarding process doesn’t include canceling or transferring services. Look at your Microsoft 365 licenses and cloud services to find these.

It’s also possible that you’re paying too much for software because you’d be better off with a subscription. If your main software has gone to the cloud but you’re still using the old version on your own servers, you can potentially save a lot by moving to the subscription model when you consider the costs you won’t have to manage onsite servers.

ACTION ITEM: Do an audit of all of your software licensing and cloud subscriptions and make sure that everything lines up with a need. Consider moving applications to the cloud if you haven’t already done so.

4. Idle Workstations, Laptops and Equipment

Is there a room at your facility that’s a graveyard for old workstations, laptops and equipment? If so, there might be items that are still usable, and you could be buying new when you don’t have to. Again, this can happen when an employee leaves and the equipment they turn in is stored and forgotten.

This can also happen when your company moves from one location to another. In this case you could also have firewalls, routers and other network hardware that isn’t needed anymore.

ACTION ITEM: Go through the equipment graveyard and determine if any piece of equipment is still under its initial warranty. Put it back into service or sell it.

5. More Technology Money Holes

Another way that you could be wasting IT’s budget is by using hardware until it dies. This might seem counter-intuitive but using old equipment will cost you more in maintenance and management. You set yourself up for crashes that cause downtime. You’re also sacrificing employee and customer satisfaction when your old stuff just can’t keep up.

Another surprising way to get more value from your technology is to buy more internet bandwidth if needed because slow internet speeds slow down your people.

ACTION ITEM: Find out if your hardware is on a consistent refresh schedule and determine if there’s anything you need to replace right now. Analyze your internet usage and line it up or down with your actual needs.

Get More From Your IT Budget with Managed Services

The situations mentioned here are completely avoidable and if you were partnering with the right Managed Service Provider, you wouldn’t have to worry about any of them. The MSP would have a handle on how your products and services are managed, and you’d benefit from their relationships with vendors to get better prices. They’d help you find the right technology tools, build a solid network on which you can grow, and help you find the best ways to leverage technology.

Time to Up Your IT Game

If you’d like IT to do more for your business, contact us for a consultation. We’re eager to learn about your challenges and goals, and explore how you can use IT to improve operations and enable your business success.