For small or medium-sized businesses, a lean budget and increased cost efficiency are the keys to a healthy bottom line. However, keeping up with the technology your business needs to run optimally can put a strain on your budget—particularly when it comes to complex IT systems.
With today’s proliferation of technology options, smaller companies have more options for IT infrastructure and IT support systems that don’t require extensive investments in internal hosting or hiring a team to manage networks. The good news is it’s highly possible to improve your technology without going over budget. Here are three ways you can find savings, while still protecting and enhancing your technology networks:
Tip #1: Weigh Initial Cost Against Total Cost of Ownership
Technology evolves and advances at breakneck speeds, but with technology advancements come opportunities to update your IT infrastructure to more modern, efficient and cost-effective alternatives. While CEOs and CFOs may balk at the thought of paying upfront costs to replace their still-functioning technology, upgrading to more efficient systems could save a great deal of money in the future.
Instead of focusing solely on initial costs, consider the long term ROI. How long will it take for an updated system to pay for itself, and how do these expenses and savings compare to the financial burden of your older technology? Strategic technology planning will help you eliminate the productivity-threatening inefficiencies and additional costs you’d otherwise pay with outdated or mismatching systems.
Tip #2: Switch from a Traditional Phone System to VoIP
If you’re still running a traditional phone system, it’s time to look into Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions. The cost of VoIP systems has dramatically decreased, and the capabilities far exceed what traditional phone systems offer. Specifically, VoIP telecom solutions offer remote voicemail options, call routing to cell phones, auto-attendant systems and unified messaging. VoIP allows companies to have constant communication, whether your team is in the office or working remotely, which is essential in today’s ever-connected marketplace.
Tip #3: Choose a Managed Services Provider
For those outside the world of technology, business IT can be unbelievably complex. Security breaches, hacks and network infrastructure challenges can become incredibly labor-intensive and expensive if your company attempts to build everything in-house. Not to mention the additional expense of dedicating resources to regular maintenance, upgrades and troubleshooting on a long-term basis. This sort of set-up would require a sizeable team of highly skilled technology professionals—something many small to medium-sized businesses can’t fit into their budget. For the most effective IT savings, it may make sense to centralize your technology by outsourcing technology support to a managed services provider.
The savings afforded by hiring a managed services providers is often substantial. You’ll be able to streamline technology adoption across your organization, constantly enjoy most current and efficient technology and contain your hosting and network security with one centralized provider. Not to mention, you’ll have well-prepared technology experts available whenever you have a question or concern, without paying multiple salaries for your own in-house team.
The bottom line is, by taking the time to compare the initial costs of technology investments against the total cost of ownership, updating to inexpensive alternatives like VoIP and seeking out a skilled MSP, you’ll streamline more than just costs. Taking an economical approach to improving your technology will allow you to create a better environment for your employees, increase productivity and gain an edge over your competition.