5 Ways for small business to slash their IT costs – By Bob Milliken

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Bob Milliken
Bob Milliken

Nobody wants to spend more than they have to, especially when it comes to those necessary evils like bills, utilities, insurance, and the general costs of keeping things running smoothly.

Granted, most of the time you can’t simply cut costs unless you make a little investment first. It’s the same case when trying to make your home more cost-effective: it usually takes an initial investment or a regular routine to make a difference. For example, improving the insulation and replacing the windows is an expensive endeavour but in the long run can reduce your energy bills. Think of business IT the same way.

Virtualize

If your business requires multiple servers that perform various tasks, it’s more than likely you have multiple powerful services that are being completely underutilized. Virtualization solves that by condensing those devices down into a single hardware device that then houses multiple virtual environments. This means there’s less to manage, less heat generated, and less power consumed. As long as your server has plenty of resources, it’s even possible to add additional virtual servers to it as your needs increase without the big expense of purchasing new servers.

Establish Energy-Saving Policies

Todays’ computer equipment is much more energy efficient compared to a few years ago. If you have some older technology still chugging away (CRT monitors, I’m talking about you!), then you are consuming more electricity than you need to be. The difference won’t necessarily be staggering but shaving a few cents a day adds up, and the investment eventually pays for itself.

Consider setting policies that will dim or shutdown monitors when they are not being used (after-hours and weekends), and if you don’t need remote access to your workstations on the weekend, use policies to shut them down and conserve power.

Refresh your Hardware

Time is money. Waiting for your email application to load is money. Those older, slow workstations that you still have floating around are costing your company money because the user that needs to sit at them and try to get their work done is constantly waiting for things to load. Older computers tend to be more expensive to take care of as well. Refreshing your hardware every few years prevents this. We’ve found that in most situations replacing workstations every 3-4 years is the sweet spot for cost effectiveness.

Switch to VoIp

Voice Over IP phone systems can drastically reduce costs in communication. While the phones are a little more expensive, voice over IP systems are scalable and extremely feature-rich and offer a lot of benefits on their own. Businesses can save up to 50% compared to traditional phone bills.

Outsource and Manage your IT

In most cases those annoying day-to-day IT issues can be prevented with just a little regular maintenance. Any reputable IT company will have core processes and tools in place to streamline this maintenance, and can provide these services for a fraction of what you’d pay an in-house IT guru.