How your IT company can help reduce your costs during this period of uncertainty
We’re all experiencing the impact of the Covid-19/coronavirus outbreak. For many business owners, it’s a time of uncertainty. We want to offer you all the help and advice we can.
If you need IT support, you can get in touch with us here and we’ll do all we can to help.
Reducing costs while protecting staff
During this challenging time, many organisations are seeking ways to reduce costs while protecting the workforce. Naturally, you want to save jobs where possible, so may be looking at other areas of the business where cost savings can be made.
One place to look is your IT infrastructure. By talking to your IT support company, you may be able to make easy cost savings while supporting your staff and improving productivity throughout your business.
If you need to make cost savings right now, here are some of the ways your IT support company can help:
Maintaining productivity while staff work from home may seem like a challenge. Thankfully, there are several IT strategies you can put in place to boost efficiency.
As well as the obvious business benefits to increasing productivity, your staff will also benefit from increased morale. They’ll be able to complete tasks successfully – even when working remotely. This helps keep your people focused and ensures that daily tasks are completed as efficiently as possible.
Here are some of the processes and strategies you can put in place.
Integrating key systems for better workflow
Look at how different teams in your business work and integrate. Do the systems they use complement one another to help get the job done? Talk to your IT support provider about the systems you use. Ask them if there are better ways for processes to combine to improve productivity.
When people are working from home, it can be frustrating to suddenly find themselves locked out of a system. There are ways to reduce this happening such as, using same login details or self-password resets. The important thing is to ensure these tools are managed correctly. This will help maintain security while making it easier for staff to access the systems they need. Your IT support provider will be able to explain more about same logins and self-password resets.
Better ways to work remotely
Explore different hardware and software solutions to help staff work productively from home. This could include setting up new hardware (dual screens for example have been shown to increase productivity by 30%) or software to help teams complete their work away from the office. Ask your IT support provider about off-line synchronisation of files and mobile apps for working on smart phones.
Online collaboration systems
Online collaboration systems such as Microsoft Teams are really valuable when staff are working on the same projects from different locations.
Microsoft Teams delivers a host of tools to make working easier, more enjoyable and more successful. The cloud-based platform includes file sharing, task organisation, real-time collaboration on documents and screen-sharing. There’s also a host of communication tools allowing staff to take part in video or audio only calls, instant messaging, and more.
During any challenging period, it’s tempting to only focus on the here and now and push other tasks to one side. But it’s important to keep a broader focus, reducing the risks that would make recovery even more difficult in the current economic climate.
Things to consider are your compliance with GDPR. This is especially important when staff are using their own devices, remotely outside the office environment. You may think you don’t need to worry about fines from the ICO at the moment, but you don’t want to get caught out.
It’s important to keep data safe to avoid the reputational damage lost data could cause. Don’t increase your risks by taking short cuts at this difficult time. Ask your IT support company about keeping data secure and what safeguards you should put in place to ensure the continuation of your business.
Review operational costs
Now is the ideal time to review those operational costs that you may not have visibility over such as printing and phone costs. By consolidating these into well-managed systems, you can improve their performance and reduce costs. Here are a few things to consider:
Hosted telephony systems can reduce spending by cutting call costs and supporting remote working. With the right hosted system in place, you can make and receive client calls just as though you were in the office. This provides much-needed continuity for your customers.
Managed print service
A managed print service can reduce your company’s print costs. It also reduces the time spent ordering toner and dealing with printer issues internally. Perhaps you aren’t producing as much printing as normal at the moment – but by reviewing your expenditure now, you’ll be in a better position to make cost savings when your print volumes return to normal.
It’s also good to know that a managed print service isn’t just for office printers, it can also be used if individuals are using print devices at home.
Ask your finance team to review your monthly costs – are there non business critical software subscriptions you no longer use? Cancelling subscriptions you don’t need can quickly reduce your monthly outgoings. Your IT support company will be able to advise if you’re unsure which software services you no longer need.
Review your IT infrastructure
Look at your overall IT infrastructure. Is it actively supporting your staff, helping them to work as efficiently as possible?
When systems work well, they can boost productivity and employee motivation. When there are problems with systems, it can cause frustration and downtime. This is true when everyone is working normally – but frustrations and problems can become magnified when staff are trying to work remotely.
You may think now is not the right time to make changes to your IT infrastructure but it’s likely that homeworking will continue for many more weeks. If your infrastructure isn’t supporting staff to do their job, it’s worth tackling issues right away.
Many improvements can be made by your IT support team remotely – so you don’t need to worry about meeting face-to-face during this time of social distancing. Plus, the improvements that you put in place now will serve you well when we enter the period of recovery.
Plan for the future
Now is the perfect time to take stock and focus on those tasks you struggle to find time for normally.
Here are some of the IT tasks you could complete:
- Cleaning up file and folder structures
- Review your back up procedures – read more about back ups here
- Research the best project management software
- Review your IT security procedures
- Conduct online IT training sessions
- Look into password management software – read more about password managers here
- Bring your IT strategy up to date
- Evaluate your disaster recovery plan – were you able to switch to secure remote working seamlessly?
- Upgrade your operating system – this is particularly important if you’re still using Windows 7 – read more about upgrading to Windows 10 here
- Look at how IT systems can support your future sales and marketing efforts
Taking the time now to put IT improvements in place will give you a head-start when things begin returning to normal.
Why outsourcing IT support can create big cost savings
One way to deliver cost savings for your business is to consider outsourcing IT support.
The benefits of outsourcing IT support include:
With outsourced IT support, you can scale the service up and down as your employee base changes. This means you are only paying for the support you need, as you need it.
A good IT support company always stays on top of best practice guidelines. With different experts available, they bring greater access to technical ability and advice. This will help you make the most of your systems during difficult times. A quality IT support company will bring years of expertise and be able to suggest workable solutions they know will work well for your business.
An outsourced IT company will be able to respond straightaway when you need IT support. You don’t need to worry about your IT contact being unavailable as the company will always have experts on hand when you need them. The best IT support companies can also adapt rapidly to changing situations, bringing you the service you need when you need it.
By outsourcing your IT provision, you can budget more effectively and reduce your IT costs when you need to. Hiring and training your own IT staff can be time-consuming and expensive, with no guarantees that people will stay with your company. By outsourcing, you remove this burden.
Trying to keep your IT in house often means more time spent researching, developing and implementing solutions which an outsourced supplier could implement in a fraction of the time.
Reduce IT security risks
IT support companies stay on top of the latest security and compliance issues. This means you don’t need to worry about what you should be doing. You gain the confidence that your IT support provider has everything covered.
Keep up with the competition
You might not have the IT budget of some larger companies within your field. But by outsourcing your IT support, you can still access the technology and expertise that bigger companies enjoy.
- If you’re looking for an IT support provider get in touch here, or give us a call on 020 7101 0544.
- Discover more about our London-based IT support services
- Want to learn more about what the right IT support looks like? Check out this article on how to choose the best IT Support provider for your business.