According to Spiceworks’ 2019 State of IT Report, 58 percent of companies that were surveyed expect to increase their IT budget from last year. An additional 27 percent expect no change in their budget, and only 7 percent expect the amount they have to spend this year to decrease.
Just because more money is flowing into your IT budget doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t find ways to get the most out of it. Today’s technology leaders are faced with more choices—and more requirements—than the leaders of five years ago. With necessary line items to address cybersecurity and regulatory requirements and the number of extra costs that people often fail to account for, it may be hard to get by, even with an increased budget.
Because there are so many “must-have” IT expenditures, it may be difficult to decide which priorities to address with the remainder of your budget. Many companies are using the strategies below to help keep costs under control.
Consider Cloud-Based Services
One of the most commonly cited benefits of cloud-based solutions is that they save money. Having an understanding of how these solutions save you money can help you prioritize how you spend your budget. When it comes to software, the software as a service (SaaS) model offers you a different set of cost savings than virtualization in an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model. Knowing where the dollars are going helps you make the best decisions.
In your traditional SaaS model, there are two prominent ways that you can save money. The first comes from eliminating time-consuming updates. Applications are frequently updated to patch security holes, provide additional functionality, and fix bugs. However, updates aren’t automatically applied to an application as soon as they are released. IT staff members test the update to ensure compatibility and run it through a variety of quality assurance measures before applying it to the solution. This process is extremely time-consuming and pulls your staff away from other priorities or requires you to hire dedicated staff to handle updates and patches.
Moving to a SaaS solution hosted by your provider eliminates this process. The vendor’s staff evaluate and test updates and then apply them to the application. Not only is your staff able to focus on other responsibilities, but you also don’t fall behind with applying upgrades to business-critical applications.
Another way that cloud-based solutions save you money is by reducing hardware purchasing costs as well as the costs associated with maintaining and powering these servers and other infrastructure through virtualization. More than 76 percent of organizations are taking advantage of virtualized servers to reduce costs. They see how reducing the amount of hardware they keep on-premises helps them reduce costs and helps increase productivity.
Work with a Managed Services Provider
When you partner with a solid managed services provider (MSP), you can relieve your IT team of their service management responsibilities and assign those duties to a team of experienced experts. This reassignment reduces time and money spent troubleshooting issues that are beyond the capabilities of your internal team. Leveraging your provider’s experience helps you proactively avoid common issues.
Additionally, you save money on your training budget because your MSP is responsible for training their staff. You simply let them know the skill set you need on a project and they provide the talent. Your team is then able to focus on projects that drive your business forward instead of having to respond to problems.
Implement a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy
With so many endpoint solutions that allow you to manage and secure mobile devices without intruding on the user’s privacy, there are many organizations that allow their users to bring their own mobile devices into the trusted network. Tasks such as checking email, reviewing documents, and collaborating with others are easy to do from anywhere with a connected mobile device. This boosts productivity—studies show that productivity increases 34 percent through BYOD use, which averages to an additional 58 minutes each workday. End user sentiment supports this with over 50 percent of workers believing that the tech they use in their personal lives makes them more productive in their work lives. Of course, hard dollar savings don’t hurt either. Implementing a solid BYOD policy helps organizations save between $350-$1,300 per year per employee.
The key to getting the most out of your existing IT budget is to know where to look for savings without cutting deliverables. In addition to the ways mentioned above in which partnering with a trusted managed service provider can help reduce costs, there is an added benefit to your budget. The right MSP will help you look at your overall IT budget and priorities and provide guidance as to where they can help. With their experience in your corner, you will have the ability to better prioritize projects and spending, all while reducing costs in the right places.