There is no doubt that there are companies out there that are shelling out more than they need on their IT support, but on the other hand it is a very fine balance as IT is often an area that can reward those who cut costs with a vast problem and in the end a bigger bill further down the line. It is imperative, therefore, that when analysing your IT support costs and endeavouring to trim them that, as when trimming the precious plants in your garden you do it at the right time and in the right places!
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you may be paying too much for your IT support.
Firstly, you will need to look at the structure of your IT support and whether it suits your company’s specific needs. You will either be getting IT support on a Pay as you Go or contractual basis. Pay as you Go can often be the ideal solution for those companies that are capable of handling most of their IT requirements in house – either by having a dedicated member or team or having simple requirements, while monthly contracts are more suitable for those with more extensive needs. If you are in the latter category but shelling out for Pay as you Go then you may be overspending. The good thing about monthly contracts is that you should be able to specify what you need to spend in each area of your business as far as IT goes. For instance, covering a £100 scanner wouldn’t be wise at say £10 a month.
You may, as part of your company’s IT budget, lease certain pieces of IT equipment. Despite the sales pitch of the leasing company you must be clear that there is a definite distinction between the terms and length of your leasing contract and your cover for that equipment. For instance, you may want to lease six printers for five years. That doesn’t mean you need to cover their service and maintenance for six years straight away, nor does it mean that you need to do this with the leasing company’s service team. You may be far better off adding this to your existing IT support contract or shopping around.
If you decide that a contract-based regular IT support service is best for your business it is not always wise to be tied into a long contract for a number of reasons, not least that you need to make sure that you are mutually compatible and the service they provide is good enough before committing. They may argue that a long contract would save you money each month, but in the long run it really could prove a costly mistake. If you are looking to cut costs from your IT support then perhaps the most basic piece of advice is to cover your system and server back-up requirements and network provision and maintenance and leave them covered – the rest is far more flexible and down to your individual needs.