Does your business see IT as a drain on funds, rather than a strategic enabler? If so, it’s time to review your IT environment and conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Whether you outsource to a Managed Service Provider, or manage your IT in-house, it’s best practice to schedule regular audits with an external, specialist IT audit company to ensure you’re getting value for money and that your infrastructure meets your company’s changing needs.
Do you know how to tell if your business needs a review? This blog might help!
Here are a few tips to get you started with seeing how much your IT really costs you:
Audit your local IT infrastructure
Technology is evolving faster than ever. Outdated or poorly managed infrastructure can dramatically reduce your productivity and result in chaotic, inconsistent expenses. If you’re constantly experiencing downtime or applying band-aids to resolve issues, then it may be time to upgrade your systems. It’s especially important to review your infrastructure once it goes past the normal three-year server hardware lifecycle.
When reviewing your IT environment, there are a few key areas on which to focus:
1. Are warranties up-to-date?
Keeping warranties up-to-date mitigates the risk of hardware failure and data loss.
2. Are licenses and software the latest version?
Reviewing licenses and updating software to the latest version enables enhanced features and stability.
3. Are your monthly subscriptions necessary?
Checking monthly subscriptions to ensure they’re still relevant and necessary often exposes high levels of unnecessary spending.
4. Check your Internet service
Your Internet service should be fast, reliable and competitively priced (the NBN has driven down costs).
5. Do you have a security management plan?
Consider intangible costs like loss of productivity or reputation damage from outages or security breaches.
6. Are your employees empowered and equipped to work remotely?
Enabling remote and mobile working can significantly improve employee productivity.
7. Are you familiar with your IT processes and support structures?
You don’t have to be an expert, but paying attention to your IT processes and support structures helps ensure they’re operating efficiently.
Does your IT provide working solutions?
The range of solutions and software delivered through The Cloud are growing exponentially. Your business should be across these solutions and consider adopting them as means to reduce costs, whilst enhancing productivity.
Embrace new business solutions
IT reviews can be a great way for your business to define what the expected business outcomes are from utilising new technologies. It may be collaboration, mobility or security. Whatever the need is, you must ensure your business is prepared and systems are in place to embrace those new solutions.
Managed Services Provider as consultants for new technologies and systems
Your IT partner should also be able to work with you to optimise your IT expenditure and consult on new technologies and services that will have a positive benefit to your organisation. This might include reviewing and optimising current systems to better suit your organisation, or consulting on a flexible and agile ICT infrastructure that improves system reliability and team productivity.
Auditing your MSP
For most medium-sized business, maintaining a dedicated IT support team is an inefficient use of resources, as it is costly to employ skilled IT professionals capable of handling demanding support tasks. SMEs generally benefit from outsourcing their IT requirements to a Managed Services Provider (MSP).
If you engage an MSP, review the service regularly to make sure you’re getting the most from the deal. If your company has expanded, then you may have outgrown your provider. Your MSP should be flexible and competitive, preferably offering a fixed fee service. If the monthly costs fluctuate significantly, or they surprise you with hidden charges, you may wish to renegotiate.
You don’t want to be spending your time chasing them down either! Proactive monitoring should identify and resolve issues before they cause downtime. Your MSP should keep in touch with you throughout the year to discuss your IT plans, and recommend solutions to improve your business performance. Some solutions may involve an initial investment, but the advantages and ROI can usually be realised quickly.
For example, cloud-based services like Office 365 with SharePoint and Skype for Business deliver immediate cost, productivity and collaboration benefits to most organisations as they give your staff full access to email, documents and communication while on the road. If your MSP is not recommending solutions like this, it may be time to change providers.
If you’re unsure whether your IT environment or MSP are delivering real value for money, contact us for your free two-hour IT assessment.
Call us today on 1300 991 351, or email email@example.com.