Every business fights a constant battle to get spending down. It’s an essential component of business management, and reducing overhead is not always easy. Yet, with constant improvements in technology, there are always opportunities to save money, if you know where to look. Well-targeted spending in IT provides a number of ways to lower your costs while improving efficiency, accuracy, and other aspects of virtually any business operation. It doesn’t matter the industry, things like automation and cybersecurity can always improve your bottom line.
With all of that in mind, here are six ways you can lower business costs with smart investments in IT.
The type of automation that does the most good clearly depends on how a business is run, but there are always options. At an absolute minimum, you can try to automate expense tracking and other aspects of accounting. While accounting automation software does require an investment, it is a very controllable cost, and with a little strategy, it will reduce your total spending on accounting.
You can also search for industry-specific automation opportunities. Software licenses are very regular, and when they provide options to lower labor or contracting costs, they can easily save on overhead.
Speaking of labor and contracting costs, a lot of overhead goes toward training, turnover, and inefficient labor. One of the easiest ways to save on IT costs for any business is to explore outsourcing options.
In most cases, you can save money by hiring a managed IT service that either replaces in-house IT or lowers their burden of responsibilities, but, as you outsource more and more tasks, you can run into the risk of inflating your budget through inefficient contracts. That’s when you will need to think about the best ways to manage contingent labor. With a good strategy, you can optimize outsourcing software development and save money.
IT covers all of the technology in your business. That technology usually runs on electricity, and providing electricity costs money.
You can audit your hardware and see what is using the most power. With that audit, you can also come up with expectations for future hardware. Using all of this information, you can try to acquire equipment that is more energy-efficient. If you roll this strategy into your existing IT upgrade plan, you can become more energy-efficient without significantly raising your IT costs. You just get to save on utilities.
Offices still use paper, and every business has at least some level of office work. What’s easy to overlook is how inefficient paper spending can be.
There are paper management services that can help minimize these costs. Paper management can completely run your office printing services, or you can simply aim for an audit and consulting package. This will help you find ways to lower equipment and supply costs. A good print management plan can even help you improve workflows related to printing. That can increase productivity and efficiency, providing opportunities for financial gains in several different ways.
Every industry has its own set of regulations, and compliance is important. Compliance failures can lead to massive fines, major business disruptions, and in the worst cases, permanent closure. IT investments can help with compliance — especially those that relate to data management. By investing in professional IT personnel (whether you hire them directly or contract them), you can get expert guidance on building a compliant business infrastructure.
You can prevent compliance problems before they happen. And while you do this, you will also bolster your business infrastructure against data losses that can lead to expensive problems and brand confidence issues.
Lastly, cybersecurity investments can prevent problems before they arise. This might not feel like a reduction in overhead, but the first time your business goes down to a ransomware attack (or any other security failure), you’ll feel that financial pain in a hurry. Robust cybersecurity is preventative, and if you never experience major data loss or other IT-related downtime, then you’re likely saving a lot of money. Data breaches cost businesses an average of $2.63 million each. Cybersecurity will be much less than that, and that’s just one possible problem being prevented.
Security investments lower overhead, even if your accounting doesn’t currently anticipate the costs of lax security.
Overall, IT investments are difficult to perfect. The experts in the industry will never run out of recommendations for more resources and increased spending, and you have to figure out where to draw the line. If you can consistently pit your IT spending against the savings it is supposed to generate, it’s easier to see where the line should be. You can optimize your IT spending, and as you do, you’ll lower the overall cost of running your business. It takes time and learning to get there, but it’s a strategy with great longevity.