Years of IT consulting have taught me where and how people spend unnecessary money on IT and lose their competitive edge. My goal with Grassroots IT is to help small to medium businesses get the most value from their technology investment. Here are three simple tips that can help you reduce IT costs and take charge of your technology today.
1. Review your ISP
Review and renegotiate your Internet Service Provider (ISP) plan before extending your contract. Don’t assume that you are automatically on the best plan. It’s a common mistake to sign a 12 month contract and then simply allow the same terms to roll on after that initial period. It is important to renegotiate the terms of your contract each time to make sure you are still on the best plan for your particular business goals, as well as the most affordable plan. Throughout the time of your original contract, new deals or special offers may have been launched into the market. In an ideal world your ISP would notify you directly of any such potential savings, and sometimes they will. The point is not to rely on this. Take your own initiative to review and compare your plan, select one that provides the best value with the best price tag, and renegotiate.
2. Replace high maintenance devices
Identify the high maintenance devices in your office, bite the bullet and replace them. I know it seems funny to think of an IT device as being high maintenance, but it is sorely true that some just need a little extra care. If you have a couple of these difficult numbers in your business then you will know what I’m talking about. It might be a printer, photocopier or a particular computer that just likes to go on the blink or jam or stall or otherwise cause problems. Each week you decide to save money by not replacing it, but you are only creating a false economy. You figure that by not spending you must be saving, but these high maintenance devices are costing you in downtime and technical support, along with the less measurable but equally expensive costs of lost productivity, staff frustration and lowered morale. Break free from this false economy, replace the high maintenance devices, enjoy less trouble and receive greater value from your IT.
3. Be proactive
Be proactive, take charge and enjoy the benefits of being in control of your IT assets. A proactive attitude toward technology will make a huge difference to your bottom line over time. Technology needs to be looked at in terms of the medium to long term. Viewing your IT through the lens of a longer term investment will help you take control of its maintenance and management and turn your technology into a valuable business asset. If you don’t know how to take charge, or what needs to be done to maintain and manage your IT better, then talk to your IT support provider and ask about managed IT services. Whatever you do, get engaged. Being proactive involves taking appropriate steps to maintain your technology, aligning your IT with your business goals, and taking the time to ensure that your IT is adding value to your business.
By incorporating these three tips into your business practice you will reduce your IT costs over the medium to long term. Going one step further and implementing managed IT services will not only help manage costs, but allow your IT to deliver true value to your business.