There are many reasons why cost cutting measures are taken on by a company. Financial problems, economic woes, increased operational costs and issues with profit might lead entrepreneurs to implement cost cutting policies. If this happens, there are two departments which are immediately affected: infrastructure and payroll. Since operations are what make a business exist on a daily basis, cutting costs on this area is not really a good idea.
But what about infrastructure and payroll? For payroll, if it’s been assessed that a company can exist with a lesser number of employees, managers would not hesitate to lay people off just so that they can save costs. There are even instances when it is necessary to do so in order to save the company.
Infrastructure, on the other hand, includes the following branches of IT (Information Technology):
- Enterprise Software
- Enterprise Infrastructure
In the following sections, we will be dishing out tips on how you can save money on your IT department. If a company enforces cost cutting measures, there are plenty of ways that you can cut back on IT-related expenses – but without affecting the quality of product or service that you are offering to your clients. We will also learn how you can run an efficient IT department in the first place.
Running an Efficient IT Department
Depending on the size of your company, the IT department could be one person who’s a jack of all trades when it comes to anything computer-related. Or, it could be a complex network of an IT manager, IT personnel, website administrators, hardware technicians and software experts. The IT department can function both from a creative and practical aspect of a business’ operation.
Basically, their role is to ensure a competent flow in the electronic communications for all departments of a company. Starting from traditional phone calls to e-mailing, using Skype, teleconferencing or making sure that the video presentation for a client works – these are all supervised by the people from the IT department.
They also setup the network within a company, configure network access, work on data recovery or backup, setup firewalls, manage e-mail accounts, etc.
To sum it all up, the role of the IT department in any company is to allow the most competent form of electronic communication to take place – ranging from point-to-point phone calls to e-mail, instant messages and audio or video conference calls.
Ways to Save Money on Your IT Department
Now, if your company’s IT department has become the target of cost cutting measures, how are you supposed to cope? Take a look at the following tips:
Turn off all computers, gadgets and other electronic equipment when not in use
In a typical office, there are several desktop and laptop computers used throughout the day along with fax machines, copiers, printers, lighting equipment and monitors.
If you would like to save as much as 25% of your office’s energy consumption, you can do so by turning off all computers, gadgets and other electronic equipment when not in use. Similarly, you can save as much as 50% of your utility costs if you will turn everything off at the end of an office day.
Look for cheap web hosting
There used to be a time when only big companies can afford to have websites because of the costs involved. Today, you can get cheap or even free web hosting plans. The services of web developers have also become more affordable. Since your website is a truly effective tool to sell the products and services that you have while also giving you the chance to reach out to your customers, it is a must have.
But just because you need to have a website does not mean that you should pay an arm and a leg for it. There are plenty of cheap web hosting plans that you can go for.
It’s not recommended that you go for free web hosting, however, because they are usually unreliable. For just a few dollars per month, you can find a good web hosting plan that will allow you to put up a website from the ground up, and maintain it for your business as well as your target market.
Choose laptop over desktop
If you are still in the process of purchasing computers or if you need additional units, it is best to use laptop instead of desktop computers, laptops consume 90% less energy than standard desktop computers. If you must purchase a desktop, make sure that it has a flat screen monitor so that you won’t have to spend on utility bills any more than you have to.
Purchase recycled printer cartridges
Even if you are trying to operate a paperless office, there would still be documents that need to be signed, read or kept on file – so they need to be printed out. In this case, you can save money by purchasing recycled printer cartridges. These are way cheaper than original printer cartridges.
Make sure that your printer is ink-friendly and does not use up that much electricity. Not only will you be saving money this way, but you are doing your share in helping save the environment as well.
Use solid state drives
Many IT experts recommend the use of SDDs or Solid State Drives. This is a type of storage device similar to a hard disk, which supports reading and writing data. If you have desktop computers, you can use an internal SDD which will work like a hard drive. Despite the similarities in purpose, SDDs and HDDs work differently. SDDs do not have moving parts, thus the inclusion of the word ‘solid’ in the name.
Flash memory is used to store data so SDDs do not need spinning up while in a sleep state. The main advantage that SDD has over HDD is faster access to data.
Experts also say that SDDs offer increased productivity and reduced energy consumption. This means that if you would like to save money on your IT department, you should consider making the switch to solid state drives.
Eliminate the costs related to software purchase
Sure, there are lots of software that you need to have proper license for in order to enjoy the full versions. But for the other software which you have yet to try, there’s no need for you to suffer the expense yet.
Websites like Download.com offers hundreds of software products which are available as freeware. There are others that you can use on limited versions, or trial versions. Before deciding to pay for any kind of software, make sure that you have tried it out first.
Install time-saving macros and shortcuts on commonly used locations
Black all websites that kill time and decrease productivity. If you must give employees access to sites like Facebook or other social networking sites during their free time, you should still limit their use.
For instance, Google Chrome has an app called StayFocusd which blocks certain sites after being on it for 10 minutes. You can also install other macros for time efficiency and shortcut scripts in easily accessible locations. When you save time and increase productivity, you are also saving the company lots of money.
Make sure that your company has proper IT license
70% of companies do not have proper license: they are either over-licensed or under-licensed. This means that they are paying more than what they have to, or are spending less when they could be investing a bit more money while reaping more benefits IT-wise. When you make a thorough study of the IT infrastructure that your company really needs, you can eliminate the possibility of being over or under-licensed.
Other ways to save money on your IT department
If you don’t have a big operation in the first place, why not downgrade your Internet Service Plan to something that’s more manageable in terms of the monthly payments? There are plenty of ISPs which offer different plans to suit the needs of different-sized organizations.
If you still have a landline phone, can you ditch it and use VoIP instead? Think of this is a type of phone service that does not rely on traditional telephone lines, but uses the Internet. This will save you up to 60% of telecom costs.
Making sure that all your office equipment and even lighting devices are energy-efficient will go a long way towards lowering your utility bills. You can also use open-source software, get a cheaper business phone service, use PayPal instead of paying for merchant accounts and reduce the number of phone lines that you have.
By implementing these money-saving tips, you can run a more cost-effective IT department. Not only that, but you can also enjoy higher productivity levels, you can have a better IT solutions control, and eliminate IT-related risks.
Whether you have a one-man IT department or if it is made up of several individuals, implementing cost-effective ways will save your company a lot of money in the long run.