- With many businesses going digital-first in 2020 and beyond, the cost of your IT support is an important consideration. In this article, we’ll offer a few key strategies for reducing your small business’ IT support spend.
- We’ll share 5 strategies you can implement with ease to save money and ensure that your technology is delivering the best possible return-on-investment for your business.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that small businesses need to be online to thrive.
The huge push to digital we’ve seen this year has had an interesting side-effect: many businesses are realising that IT support can quite costly if you try to manage it all by yourself.
Whether it’s troubleshooting issues with individual workstations or replacing an entire office full of machines, there are plenty of ways that IT support can bring about unexpected costs – and that’s before we mention the possibility of data loss, breaches, or worse.
So, to help you get ahead of the curve on your IT support, here are 5 easy ways you can reduce your IT support costs right away.
Step 1: Update your old hardware (even if it costs)
Should you replace or repair old workstations when they get slow and unreliable?
At first, it may seem like repairing them is more cost-effective option, but that’s actually a bit of a fallacy. The truth is that newer, faster machines can save your business time and money by delivering increased productivity and reducing the inevitable downtime old machines create. Don’t forget: every minute spent waiting for a program to load has a cost.
With that in mind, while it may seem counter-intuitive, you will actually reduce your overall IT support spend in the long-term by spending on new machines in the short-term.
For more on this age-old debate, check out our dedicated article How Often Should You Update Your Business IT Hardware?
Or, if you want to know how you could save money in the short-term and still have the latest tech, check out our article Buying vs. Leasing: What's the Best Way to Build Your IT Infrastructure?
Step 2: Ensure your team has the right training
It’s easy to become fixated on the hardware side of your IT support, but remember that there’s a human resources cost, too.
For example, if you have members of your team who are regularly asking questions about how to do something on their workstation, it can quickly add up. That famous adage, “Give a man a fish…” really does apply here. You can spend your time solving technical problems for employees on a case-by-case basis, (and taking up precious time in the process), or you could dedicate a larger chunk of time up front to train your team in how to resolve common issues themselves.
It’s an initial outlay of time, (and potentially money if you need to hire an IT trainer), but – just like investing in your hardware – it’ll certainly save money in the long run.
Alternatively, by working with an IT support company like Get Support, you can ensure your team have access to IT experts whenever they need them – leaving you free to focus on other things.
Step 3: Review your approach to business software
We’ve looked at hardware, we’ve looked at human resources, but what about your business software?
One of the more hidden costs in a business is actually the various apps and services you either subscribe to or purchase licences for – plus all the time required to configure and support them. If your business has multiple different apps from multiple different providers, or – even worse – if each employee has a different set of apps, it can get very expensive over the long term.
It’s far better to take a unified approach to your business software. You can reduce a lot of IT support costs by choosing a multi-app subscription service like Microsoft 365. This one package alone can take the place of your office programs, email server, collaboration and communication platforms, and so much more. And all for a single monthly cost.
If you’re new to Microsoft 365, learn more from our A-Z Guide to Microsoft 365 for Small Businesses.
Step 4: Switch from “break/fix” to a Managed Service Provider
Here’s a question: how are you currently dealing with IT support problems when they occur?
Do you have an on-call team ready to help at any moment, or do you rely on one-off assistance from IT specialists or technicians? If your answer is the latter, there’s probably a more cost-effective way of doing things.
If you’re calling someone in on a one-off basis to solve IT problems, you’re using a “break/fix” provider. This might seem affordable if you only need them once in a blue moon, but over time, it can get expensive. Very expensive.
The alternative is to use a Managed Service Provider, or MSP, who will charge you a low monthly rate and offer IT support whenever you need it – no one-off costs required. Think of it like the difference between pay monthly and pay-as-you-go mobile phone contracts. Sure, pay-as-you-go might seem more convenient, but you actually end up spending far more with far fewer perks than pay monthly.
Want to know more about managed IT support vs. the break/fix model? Check out our Plain English Guide To: Managed IT Services.
Step 5: Establish a disaster recovery and business continuity plan
There are certain things none of us really enjoy dealing with, but that are practical necessities in life. Insurance is one of them, and — especially when it comes to IT support in small business — backup and disaster recovery is another.
It’s hard to stress this enough, but if your business doesn’t have a disaster recovery plan and backup solution in place, it might be a simple matter of time until things go wrong.
Just like almost every step we’ve looked at in this guide, backup is another factor of IT support which may seem like an unnecessary cost up front, but it can seriously pay off if the worst happens. And, of course, it always feels like it’ll never happen to you — until it does. It’s far better to spend a little on IT support now than it is to lose something irreplaceable later.
Want stress-free IT support? Say hello to Get Support
If taking care of all of this yourself seems like a lot of work, don’t worry. At Get Support IT Services, we’re all set to get your business on board with an IT support agreement which covers IT strategy, expert hardware advice, support from a dedicated team of IT specialists, and much more.
Learn more about our IT support agreements now, or call the team to get the ball rolling on 01865 59 4000.