7 Ways You Could Be Overspending on IT
No one wants to pay for more IT than what you really need to, but unfortunately costs have a way of creeping up if you’re not effectively managing all aspects of IT.
Here’s how it can happen.
Let’s say you need more server space. You buy a new server. That one gets maxed out so you add more space. Then it happens again. Pretty soon, you’re trying to manage a crazy big network, and it’s so complicated and burdensome that it’s causing problems in all areas of your infrastructure.
Complexity is the result of this server space gone wild scenario, and so is added cost. Read on to learn about seven ways that you could be overspending on IT and how to put a stop to cost creep.
1. Data Storage
Whether you’re using cloud storage, onsite servers or both, data can multiply. Before you know it, you've got a bottomless pit of expense, as in our example above. Not only are there costs for the data storage itself, it’s time consuming to manage data. Think of your phone, for example. When’s the last time that you deleted all of the duplicate photos? You probably haven’t because you don’t want to take the time. All of the data that you’re accumulating could also be increasing your costs for backup, as well.
2. Software Licensing
Costs creep up with software licensing when no one is aware of automatic renewals, and there's insufficient oversight on which users have which software. Another common situation is for companies to inadvertently pay for duplicate accounts, or buying licenses for users who are no longer with your company -- which brings us to the next point.
3. User Management
If you’re not keeping track of who needs what software license, and adding and subtracting users as they come and go, you could be overspending. This goes for other assets that are assigned to your employees such as mobile devices, and email. It’s common practice for many companies to keep a mailbox open after an employee leaves so as to make sure that important communications aren’t missed. What often happens is that the email gets forgotten, and pretty soon, six months have gone by and you’re still paying $25 a month for the mailbox when you could have been using an alternative method that wouldn’t have extended your costs.
4. Internet Service
Internet service is another payment that often gets auto-renewed without review. It’s very possible that there’s another provider who could give you a better deal, or that you could renegotiate your plan with your current provider.
Costs creep up with your internet service when you get into a pattern of adding bandwidth whenever you think your connection is lagging. What might be happening is that bandwidth is getting used by everything from employee cell phones to connected equipment, and what you really need is a better way to manage your network and all of its connections.
5. Misallocation of Labor
You have a misallocation of labor when you use your IT labor for non-IT tasks; you have a high level of capability dealing with low level issues; or you have someone managing IT and helping users who is not qualified to do so.
If the employee managing IT and responding to issues doesn’t have the expertise to do what they’re asked to do, they’re going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what needs to get accomplished, and chances are good that their gaps in knowledge will show up as never-ending issues.
Asking skilled IT staff to do tasks outside of their wheelhouse can also result in more time to resolution. Even if they try to maintain a can-do attitude, their job satisfaction is bound to suffer. It's also a very expensive way to solve a problem that a lower level person could have handled.
6. Cyber Attack
If you have a cyber attack, it will come with a boatload of extra costs that you didn’t plan for. Data breach battles can take days to stop the intrusion, clean up the mess, and get you back up and running again. The financial impact will add up as you pay for extra IT support, lost business and productivity. If the attack happened because you were using out-of-date hardware and software, then your bill could include replacement costs and you’ll have to beef up your security. The loss of reputation and trust from customers, employees and vendors can have repercussions on the future of your business.
7. Technology Becomes Your Business Focus
What happens when you aren’t managing IT effectively is that it becomes noisy. Noisy IT distracts and frustrates your people. They end up spending more and more time making their technology work at the expense of serving your customers.
If your business runs on technology -- and these days, it probably does -- and technology is your biggest sore spot, then it’s easy for your focus to shift to getting your technology to work. When this happens, you could be experiencing untold opportunity costs because your competitiveness is compromised.
Better IT Management is the Answer to Control IT Costs
The way to get a handle on your IT costs is to become better at managing the IT function of your business. Download a chapter of Marty Kaufman's book "Do IT Right" and learn about the philosophy behind the managed IT services solution that keeps Southern California businesses humming along every day. Request your copy today.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.