With modern businesses heavily dependent on information technology to power their enterprise and give them an edge over the competition, it’s easy for IT costs to rapidly spiral out of control. This is often done in the mistaken belief that the more money and tech you throw at a problem, the more likely it is to be resolved.
Whereas there’s a valid argument that you must be ready to spend more if you want a better quality product, there’s such a thing as wasteful and needless IT spending. To prevent your technology from becoming a cost burden on your business, explore the different ways you can apply it cost optimization. Here are some useful tips.
Always Be On Attack Mode
Cost optimization isn’t something you do once and forget about. It’s a process, not an event. So whether the business is raking in record profits or is struggling to stay on top of its expenses, IT managers must constantly be on the lookout for ways they can slash spending.
Being constantly on cost attack mode also gives you the time to think through and experiment with different cost management alternatives. If you wait until you are under pressure to reduce expenditure, you may unintentionally cut costs in the wrong places.
Leverage Competition Between Vendors
Leverage your relationship with vendors to your advantage. After all, you won’t be getting their product for free. Since you are paying for it, you have the power. Ergo, make sure vendors compete for your contract. When a service provider knows they are in a contest for the contract with other suppliers, they are less likely to charge exorbitantly.
Don’t relent even after you’ve settled on a vendor, and they seem to be providing a great service. Sometimes, the vendor is trying to get you hooked on their service so they can gradually increase the price when it’s too inconvenient for you to switch to another provider. Keep your ear to the ground to keep track of the going rates for all tech products and services you pay for.
Low Cost Education
Information technology is arguably the world’s fastest changing industry. That’s why there’s never an end to learning for IT staff if they want to have the skills required to support this rapidly evolving environment. But continuous education can be expensive. So how do you ensure continuous learning for your IT staff without breaking the bank?
First, always look for low-cost or free training opportunities. Vendors for example are often happy to regularly take your team through their system and its updates as long as you are still using their product. Second, industry conferences, exhibitions, and seminars are also a great forum for learning at little to no cost. Finally, there’s the free reservoir of knowledge that is the World Wide Web.
Track Each Technology’s Phase in its Maturity Lifecycle
Technology constantly evolves. A system that was cutting-edge and industry-leading 5 years ago may be bordering on obsolescence today. Virtually every application and operating system will eventually slide into irrelevance. It’s why technology vendors don’t provide perpetual support for any product. There’s ultimately an end of life.
To ensure you are always using technology that’s stable, effective and easy to maintain, you have to review the status of all your systems once or twice a year. Check which systems have been around for a while, have high adoption and are mature since these tend to be more affordable and reliable.
On the other hand, tech that’s nearing its end of life will have high maintenance costs due to compatibility problems and the lack of vendor support.
You have little choice but to spend on technology if you want to run a modern business. These tips can help you stay on top of your tech expenditures so that IT becomes an asset not a liability for your company.