In Part 1 of this series, we discussed some of the low-hanging fruit that you may want to consider first if you’re looking to reduce IT spend. If you haven’t read that article yet, we do think it’s quite witty and well-written (if we do say so ourselves).
In this article, you’ll learn about the next line of IT budget cuts you can make. These ones take a bit more work on your end, but the payoff in savings is well worth it.
Of course, as soon as you feel like you’d like a helping hand with any of this, just reach out to one of the best IT companies in Seattle – Interplay. You’ll be pretty glad you did.
If you truly want to minimize your IT spending waste, it’s important to take the time to segment your staff into different roles and make sure you’re not buying more IT services than you really need.
For example, if you have a factory floor worker who only needs to use email, they shouldn’t have a $20-per-month full Office suite subscription. In fact, if you have only 2 people that really need Microsoft Project or Visio (those cost a lot), but you find that you have 10 licenses currently on subscription… well, that’s an easy way to reduce IT spend.
This is something you may want to do with the license deep dive we mentioned in Part 1 of this series in which you proactively review your licenses on a regular basis to see if you have way more Visio licenses than you need.
Here’s a sad IT cost that we see all the time: Many companies are overpaying for connectivity “because they might need it.”
Yup, that’s right – the Interplay team (that’s us!) has found that a lot of smaller businesses no longer need what are known as “SLA-backed” or “contract-backed” data links. Instead, these smaller companies can get 2 “business-grade” or “prosumer-grade” connections from different providers on different media (such as CenturyLink Fiber and Comcast Business Cable) and then connect them with a decent Meraki firewall that can automatically load balance and handle failover. This can be far, far cheaper than those old-school guaranteed data links.
And, while we’re on the topic, we also would like to point out that failover is useless if you can’t actually use it. Our team sees a lot of firewalls that just can’t handle the failover. In practical terms this means that even if you’re paying for 2 connections with a failover, when one of your connections goes out everything goes down. (Ouch.)
In that situation, you would essentially be paying for a second line for no reason – and useless services are kind of the definition of IT spending waste, right?
Similarly, we’re also seeing larger clients dump MPLS links (hugely favorable for connecting offices for the last 10-15 years) and switching instead to “SD-WAN.”
Confused? We got you covered.
“SD-WAN” is basically an automatic VPN system that will dynamically create secure links between offices using garden-variety internet connections and then re-route on the fly if a connection drops somewhere.
Since SD-WAN uses the regular old internet (but super securely and super secretly), you can guess that this method will generally be significantly less expensive than contract-backed MPLS links with similar performance and reliability. Even better, SD-WAN is pretty easy to manage for your internal IT team or your outsourced IT support experts.
If you have a goal to reduce IT spend for the next year, starting immediately, your best path may surprise you.
No, we’re not going to suggest some non-sensical, crazy-old-uncle logic like “spend money to save money!” That’s absurd and bizarre (and expensive sounding!)
Instead, we’re going to recommend that you take some time to think about your organization’s roots as well as your goals. What is your mission? Do you have IT services or solutions that don’t directly support your mission? Maybe cut those. Where do you see your employees later this year or next year? Will they solely be working from home? If so, you may want to downsize your costly SIEM to a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solution that secures employee devices and authenticates their access on the go.
We’re simply throwing out some general ideas here, based on our experience helping companies reduce IT spend this year. If you’d like more personalized advice on the IT costs you can cut – and how – just get in touch. We’ll be here.
For 20 years, the friendly and knowledgeable IT team at Interplay has helped business leaders across a range of industries get more out of their tech, stress free. Not only are we always (and we mean always) happy to offer the best IT support and advice, we’re also the team you can trust for the best cocktail recommendations here in Seattle or in Disney World – we’re versatile! All humor aside though, we’d love to help you reduce IT spend and get your IT running smoothly around the clock.