Five Ways to Optimize Your Technology Spend
Every business aims to run in the most efficient and productive way possible. Technology, including Internet connectivity, software, data management, and telephony can all play a large part in that. And every business owner rightly hopes to get the most out of their technology spend.
According to Computerworld’s 2015 Forecast Study, IT decision makers are prioritizing their IT investments to drive business initiatives such as growing revenue and profitability, and enhancing competitiveness. 43% of respondents also expect their IT budgets to increase, up from 36% last year.
Let’s take a look at five ways your business can maximize its investment when it comes to technology spend.
1. Move to the cloud
Computerworld’s aforementioned study pegs cloud projects as the most important technology investment for businesses this year. Moving your backup files exclusively to the cloud, for example, means you can scale your business’ cloud usage as-needed, only paying for the storage you’ll need at any given time. Also, using software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications like Office 365 reduces up-front license expenses in favour of a more manageable subscription-based model, lets you add or remove subscriptions as your requirements change, and simplifies the installation, maintenance and upgrading of software – freeing up IT teams to focus on higher-value projects.
2. Upgrade mobile devices to maximize productivity
Consider offering newer, more feature-rich mobile devices for your employees to maximize your team’s productivity. This might include devices with faster processors, compatibility with more productivity tools like Microsoft Office apps, or larger screens that make it easier to review things like spreadsheets and presentations. While there may be an upfront cost on the upgrade, it can pay off in the long run if having the devices promotes greater connectivity and efficiency among workers, and enables them to get more work done remotely.
3. Revisit mobile plans
Mobile service plans change. It’s worth it to evaluate various plans and options and measure that against how employees are actually using their devices. For example, are your employees often exceeding their allotted data allowance? Or making more long distance calls than anticipated? Or perhaps using data but not their talk minutes? Talk with your carrier about how to best optimize plans so employees have what they need to be productive, while minimizing what they don’t need.
4. Get the right Internet plan
Talk to staff to ensure that you have the appropriate Internet package for your business. You might think, for example, that a 10 Mbps download speed is sufficient, but realize upon further analysis that paying a bit more for 25 Mbps may better meet employee needs, thus increasing productivity levels. Or you might find that your current upload speeds are insufficient for backing up your data quickly, or for getting the most out of your cloud sharing applications. Properly understanding what your bandwidth needs are and adjusting your Internet plan accordingly can remove potential bottlenecks.
5. Bundle tech services
By bundling services like Internet and phone, you can increase efficiencies by having one customer support team and one bill for multiple services, while also saving on costs. Bell’s business bundles, for example, include Internet, phone, long distance, and Internet security. You can save money in the long-term, with the added benefit of simplifying your accounting operations by dealing with only one provider.
The bottom line
Optimizing your technology spend is about striking the right balance, and opting for the technologies and services that will best suit your business’ needs. Sometimes it means investing in something up front to enjoy cost savings down the road, or migrating to a completely new technology like the cloud that offers more flexibility and scalability.
What steps have you taken when it comes to your IT investments to allow for improvements to your productivity and efficiency? Tell us in the comments, below.