Updated: May 10, 2020
Business is all about efficiency, we all know that. And we at IT BLOCK would love to highlight some of the ways a business can make their IT lean and mean. Not all of us have the luxury of some companies with huge budgets. And in some ways, saving money does improve your chances of survival as a company, think of it as making your own luck. Here are some of the items you should consider how to make things more efficient.
Choose laptops - How to save money on IT?
Here is a fun fact, laptops consume almost 80 percent less electricity as a desktop. 80% is a huge number. Crazy huge. Here is some simple math, let's say ten desktops cost you $100 in electricity, each year you stand to save $960 dollars each year. The average lifespan of three to five years would bring the savings between $2880-$4800 for the entire lifespan of just ten devices. The real numbers are much more and exponentially increases the more staff you have and how many computers are being used. Laptops are designed to be efficient since they rely heavily on battery, unlike a desktop which is designed to perform. Isn't this a fun read so far? Another point that should be considered, buying a laptop of the highest spec means absolutely nothing. It makes no sense for admin staff to have a laptop with a graphics card and an i7 processor. You wouldn't buy a sports car for your delivery driver, so why buy a really fast laptop for a staff that does not need it. In fact, we recommend a small laptop with a good on-site support package. Of course, do not go out and buy a 400 dollar notebook and put the blame on us. Be reasonable, what we are trying to say is there is no justification for buying a gaming laptop. Nor is there a justification in buying laptops designed for architects, scientists, and designers. an i5 processor, 16 GB of ram for your hundreds of tab and an SSD drive to boot. That is all you need. No huss no fuss.
WiFi is better than ethernet - How to save money on IT?
Wifi is convenient. Ethernet is faster. Right now we are still sticking to power consumption so bear with us for a little longer. While a WIFI signal theoretically consumes less power, it does bounce around and is less efficient at transmitting signals. And if you have an office where large files are constantly being downloaded. If you are looking to shave off a few dollars, you may want to ensure that each terminal or computer has access to an Ethernet connection point. In the case of transmission of large files, there is a substantial saving in power. In some cases up to 50%. While it is very little power consumed, things do add up in the long run and encouraging your staff to use wired infrastructure whenever possible not only frees up the bandwidth of your wifi, it saves energy too.
Upgrade, don't buy new - How to save money on IT?
Something you have to spend a dollar to stretch a dollar. We are pretty sure we came up with that saying. And in this case, we deem it absolutely true. Whenever possible, it is always better to upgrade a computer, especially desktops. We had a client with a computer that was slowing down which we were able to identify as the hard drive (a classic needle HDD running on rpm) to be the culprit. Now they could choose to buy a new computer and have us move the entire data over, we recommended that it is probably best they simply do an upgrade. All we did was purchase a good quality SSD drive and an original windows license. Reinstalled the programs and drivers, good as new. In fact, better than what is was, blisteringly fast how the SSD loads. And it only cost a few hundred and a lot of time saved. Many hardware is the same, sometimes whenever possible a simple upgrade of RAM for laptops and regular maintenance is all it takes to improve the life of the hardware. Same thing for servers and what have you.
Sharing storage is caring storage - How to save money on IT?
Now here is a great way to not only minimize data loss but also improve the security of your files. Put all of your working files in a shared drive, preferable to a NAS (network access server) system. Think about it, why should important documents like invoices, accounting documents, the intellectual property be stored in individual laptops or computers anyway. In fact, it is a good practice to get your staff to always store important documents in a shared folder. Most NAS systems are compatible with many backup systems and can be easily automated to backup each day! Think about it, imagine a fire, or a stolen laptop or a disgruntled employee deleting data. All of these problems are simply overcome by doing this. And that saves money. You can buy laptops or computers for staff with low spec and storage which saves cost. And in the event of a disaster of any kind, your data is safe too. That is something money can never buy back, data that is lost.
Improve energy efficiency - How to save money on IT?
Almost every new computer you buy has a green setting. Which is one of the least utilized setting in most computers around the globe? A simple group policy that shuts off the screen after a 15 minute idle and a hibernation policy of 1 hour can save you a gargantuan sum of money. Your staff will complain that it is troublesome to log back into the computer, but it really is not that inconvenient. It may even improve the security of your environment inadvertently. Going into the BIOS and the power management setting and reducing the power of each device is also a great way to make your computers save energy and improve their length of service. Cool stuff.
Increase your internet speed - How to save money on IT?
What has internet speed anything to do with cost savings. We argue everything. From an efficiency point of view, that is. Speed is important if things move quickly, more things get done. Imagine if you're an advertising agency sending and uploading videos to clients. Clients are impatient and decisions take a long time to make. So best to cut the time wherever you can. A really fast internet connection ensures fast upload and downloads time. Emails sent out faster, research is done faster, googling is faster and loading websites is a whole lot faster. Try to understand that the inner working of your office is a scaled-down version of the outside world. Roads, trains, cars, taxis, footpaths, bus stops, stations, police and what have you. If you look at the correlation between the development of infrastructure with the growth of a country's GDP, they are almost always relative. A country that builds more roads improves its ability to do business. A country that builds more subways improves its ability to do business. A country with smooth roads improves its ability to do business. This is not pure coincidence. Your office is exactly the same and a faster infrastructure will improve your ability to do more business! You know your workforce relies heavily on the internet these days. And if they perform a hundred tasks each day and a fast internet connection was to save them ten seconds per task. You are looking at thirteen minutes more productivity each day. That is almost 5 hours of extra work each month per employee each month. that is 2 days of extra work by each employee. And we are very conservative with our calculations. The numbers could easily be much much more. We have to start looking at infrastructure as an important mechanism in our business structure.
Cloud IT Solutions - How to save money on IT?
You have a small team and you find it hard to justify the purchasing of an ERP, HRM or accounting solution. Of course, having purchased one is great but the costs are too great. Still, work needs to get done and you need a good reliable solution. You should turn to the cloud. Solutions like Deskera, Zoho or Xero are great examples of subscription-based models that you can use. Granted it is best to try the demo and there are more solutions coming out on the market competing on prices as we speak. And this is helpful for a small or young company. Your focus should be closing deals and clients. Money should be focused on staff and marketing. Honestly, it is hard to see how using a cloud-based solution is truly sustainable. It is not exactly easy to migrate out of it, it is doable of course, but it is not in the interest of a cloud service provider to help you. So make sure that the information can be exported out easily and the customer support provided by these providers cater to such requests. Other than that, you can possibly reduce tens of thousands of purchases to thousands in subscriptions per year. We know eventually you may end up spending more, but it is about using your capital for more important projects.
Don't hire developers for websites - How to save money on IT?
Have you ever had a positive experience with a web developer? If you did, you are either a liar or a very optimistic person. Custom websites are a pain and you almost never need them unless you plan to run an application. This means you are running a tutorial website or an exam website. Something that needs an application embedded inside of it to run complex tasks and algorithms. It is always a troublesome task, you have to design a sitemap and employ a designer to map out what your website is supposed to look like. You also need an IT project manager if you want this to be executed properly. Delays are normal and revisions would have to be done over and over since the layers of communications simply breed inaccuracy in the delivery of the product you truly want. So if this is your idea of a holiday, we think it best to not do so. In most cases, your website is simply a portfolio for your business. With mentions of projects, products, abilities, history and contact details. So what should you use then? There is WIX, Squarespace and many more options out there. It is a website simplified. You know how much a custom website cost to make, it even costs a lot to maintain it with security updates and SSL renewals. If you don't know what SSL is, then definitely do not get a custom website made. You have a marketing team, give them access to your WIX site and make them work. Make them color it and put their money where their mouth is. They are always complaining about how bad the design of websites is, let them make a better one. Or you could put your money with a designer who could lay out the best look for your website and simply execute it via the website builders provided by these solutions. Trust us you can easily achieve a much nicer looking website this way. You will have a lot of fun criticizing all of the discrepancies on your website. And that can be a stress reliever, for you of course. Not for them.
IT support outsourcing - How to save money on IT?
Now finally, this is our domain and what we do. So shamelessly, of course, we are going to talk about this as it is part of our core belief. If you are an MNC with hundreds of staff and plenty of floors, it is essential that you have an in-house IT Support team to look after all your assets. Short of that, we honestly do not see why companies would hire one or two IT support staff for their company. Firstly, it is hard for non-IT personnel to vet and hire IT support personnel. You may actually have to rely on a recruitment agency that specializes in IT services. Which is an additional cost? The world is adapting more technology and this gives IT support personnel more options. This means it is more than likely a good IT support staff not to stay long and move on to greener pastures. And most IT support staff want to work for Google or Facebook. They wish to retire there. So if you are no either of these companies, this is the sad fact. As for IT support staff that does stay back, chances are they know they are not cut out for a good company and are happy to stay in the safety of a small company. But is that necessarily good for you? Technology is constantly changing and evolving, and if your IT support staff is a hermit-type, just like your iPhone, your staff would also become outdated. Finding a staff that is capable, proactive, loyal and reliable is almost mythical. IT support firms that provide IT services and IT solutions worry about that so you would not have to. And in most cases, it costs much much less to put an IT support firm on retainer than to have full-time staff. These firms are also catering to other clients, this means they have procedures and solutions in place for common problems they constantly face. So problems are resolved relatively quickly and efficiently. Of course, you have to vet these IT support companies properly, especially when it comes to response times. Some firms may try to bite off more than they can chew. Still, these are professional IT support companies and expect professional IT services.
CONCLUSION - How to save money on IT?
Most large companies, unfortunately, end up with redundancies. Which is not only unfair to stakeholders but the staff as well. The same thing goes for IT, you want to always keep it lean. It is a crucial aspect of any business, to maintain its infrastructure. A company with little IT redundancies should be proud of how it is run. At least you know you have what you need and not what you want. IT is becoming the core of businesses and in many cases, their IT is their foundation. Like e-commerce companies, banks, software as a service, cloud solutions, etc. And in your case, your business needs IT presence and infrastructure. The future predicts that businesses that have API systems will be much better off than those who don't. So you can see how more and more investments will be made in your IT infrastructure. It is not a choice, you will have to.
So best to figure out how to do it on the cheap. Also might be a good time for you to look into automation for whichever service you can automate.
Thank you for reading 'IT Support 101: How to save money on IT?' and we hope you have a beautiful day. #money #save #business #efficiency #redundancies #outsourcing #itblocksg #singapore #cloud #nas #wifi #staff #itsupport