IT systems and services are right up there with rent and employees as the largest business costs so it is worth taking time to pause and consider what your IT is really costing you.

Not many business owners can readily put their hand on the actual cost of their IT services. Our starting point with all new clients is to get an overview of what the total spend is and then we can get an idea of how efficiently and cost effectively things are running. Is your business getting great value for money or are IT systems a hidden cancer eating away at your bottom line?

Let’s stop and think about what “line items” should be considered an “IT cost” and why.

Internet services – regardless of whether you have a cable connection, dial up or trusty ADSL – your internet connectivity is the pipe that your employees are using to work. Many people find it easier to keep rolling over their internet contracts because it isn’t worth the hassle of changing. A recent review we undertook for an ASX listed company identified a saving over 3 years in excess of $100,000. Now, we don’t all spend that kind of money on internet services but there is no point in paying more than you have to right?

Telephone services – again, there is a tendency for businesses to “stick with the devil you know” rather than be bamboozled into a new phone contract that you don’t understand. Phone services can often be a big untapped area of savings, particularly with new products that use the internet to make calls. It is worth looking at what is on the market – savings of over 50% are not unusual after our reviews.

IT Staff – now there are IT staff and “IT staff” – staff dedicated to providing IT services vs staff who happen to give IT support because they are the most technically savvy people available in the workplace. If you can afford to have dedicated IT staff – great, but you will know that you are also spending additional resourcing to provide redundancy when these staff are away, paying for leave etc. Sometimes it is handy to have someone on staff when a big project is getting implemented and then you continue with them even though they aren’t needed as much once the project is completed. It is always worth seeing if outsourcing these positions will save you money, particularly if you can get away with paying for IT service “when required” as opposed to fixed contracts. “IT staff” – i.e. the staff in inverted commas are those tech savvy individuals that get tapped on the shoulder every time the printer doesn’t work or a computer doesn’t boot properly. But what should they really be doing? There is an assumption that they have actual jobs to do and their duties are suffering as a result. Should your accountant be saving you on taxes or crawling under someone’s desk? 🙂

IT Systems – many businesses spend a disproportionate amount of money on computer equipment, often because they have an allegiance to a particular brand or they took advice from a well meaning staff member or relative. Our IT reviews take a lot of hidden costs into account like energy efficiency, the cost of extending warranties, the cost of maintenance, local warranty support etc. We have seen small businesses with 5 people get duped into having 3 servers and over spec’d workstations when they could have easily worked in the cloud.

The bottom line is that every business is unique and it pays to have an independent review at least annually to see what savings can be made. We can usually guarantee new clients a saving of around 30%

First step, engage with a company like Computing Australia who have worked with thousands of different businesses and can help you make an informed choice. We absolutely guarantee that we will save you money.

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Daniel Hutchinson on Email
Daniel Hutchinson
Daniel Hutchinson
Daniel Hutchinson is the CEO of several tech companies in the Computing Australia Group. These include Computing Australia, Codesquad, Confidential Technology Services and Staff Guru. He has extensive business interests in Australia and India.

He is a skilled business analyst who specialises in helping companies match the right technology to their needs.

Daniel blogs extensively on a wide range of IT topics.