From fostering greater team collaboration to optimising workflows and keeping key data secure, IT systems offer a huge range of benefits to modern businesses. However, leveraging the benefits of this technology comes with a cost that needs to be balanced with all the other expenses that come with running your business.
One solution that many Brisbane businesses employ is to outsource their IT dependencies to a managed services provider. In the following article, we’ll break down the direct and indirect costs of IT + cover the ways managed IT services minimise those costs so you can keep your business as lean as possible.
For more, read up on why managed IT services are essential for Brisbane businesses, including how they boost efficiency and enhance cybersecurity.
The Direct & Indirect Costs of IT
When it comes to IT, what you’re really paying always comes down to more than just the evident figures. Let’s see how the costs typically stack up:
The direct costs of IT are relatively straightforward and easy to quantify on a balance sheet.
· Hardware (computers, keyboards, printers, screens, networking equipment, storage devices, servers etc.)
· Software (licences for operating systems, enterprise ERP and CRM, antivirus)
· Licenses for collaboration tools (Microsoft 356, Google Workspace, etc.)
· Domain registration and renewals, SSL certificates, SaaS subscriptions, cloud storage fees, etc.
· Wages and salaries for IT support staff (including training, professional development, and bonuses)
More insidious than direct costs, the indirect costs of IT are harder to quantify and can be easy to neglect.
Indirect costs can be primarily sorted into three areas:
· Losses From IT Failures & Downtime – Whenever an IT system goes down or stops functioning as required, this costs your business money. Perhaps your team couldn’t work for an hour because of a network malfunction, or maybe you missed out on an important lead because the email form on your website isn’t working as it should.
· Losses From Operational Inefficiencies – Losses don’t just come from major system failures and malfunctions; they can also snowball when you have gaps or bottlenecks in your digital processes. Everything from outdated software to slow hardware and network speeds hamper your team’s ability to do their best work.
· Opportunity Costs – Every time you spend money to address IT issues, you’re diverting funds from the other core competencies of your business that could have helped you generate a higher profit. For example, the more you spend on patching flaws in your IT, the less you’re spending on marketing and attracting new customers.
How Managed IT Services Reduce IT Costs
Managed IT services reduce IT costs in two main ways: helping you make your IT system as efficient and reliable as possible and reducing (or eliminating) the expense of hiring in-house expertise.
Let’s examine some of the ways a managed IT services provider optimises your business to minimise IT costs:
· Proactive Monitoring: Managed IT services don’t wait for a problem to happen; they continuously monitor your systems to identify and address potential issues before they become critical. This reduces instances of unexpected downtime.
· Backup and Disaster Recovery: Managed IT providers can implement robust backup solutions, ensuring that even in the event of data loss or hardware failure, your business can quickly recover with minimal downtime.
· 24/7 Support: Should issues arise, the best managed IT services will offer round-the-clock support. This immediate response ensures that any downtime is minimised, maintaining business continuity.
· Network Optimisation: By ensuring that the business’s network is always optimised and running at peak efficiency, potential network-related downtimes can be reduced or even eliminated.
· Infrastructure Evaluation: Regular evaluations of your IT infrastructure ensure it aligns with the business’s needs. This might mean recommending faster servers or more effective software, leading to smoother operations and improved efficiency.
· Software Updates & Maintenance: Keeping software updated is crucial for efficiency. Managed IT services ensure that all your tools are up-to-date, removing potential lags or incompatibilities that can hamper productivity.
· Cloud Solutions: Managed IT providers often recommend cloud-based solutions like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. These platforms allow businesses to scale their resources as needed without significant upfront investments, leading to streamlined operations and resource efficiency.
· Automation: Implementing automated processes for repetitive tasks can significantly boost efficiency. Managed IT providers can help identify and implement these automation opportunities.
Troubleshooting with the Latest Technology and Expertise:
· Access to Specialists: Managed IT services have teams of specialists across various fields of IT. Whether it’s a unique software issue or a complex network problem, there will be an expert on hand to address it swiftly.
· State-of-the-Art Tools: Managed IT providers invest in the latest diagnostic and troubleshooting tools, ensuring that issues are identified and resolved using the most advanced methodologies available. They’ll also use remote access tools like TeamViewer to quickly resolve issues without the need for onsite visits.
· Continuous Training: The IT landscape is always changing. Managed IT providers ensure their staff is trained in the latest technologies and best practices, ensuring that they bring contemporary expertise to every problem they address.
Discounted Software Licensing:
· Volume Licensing: Due to their scale and partnerships with software vendors, managed IT services often have access to volume licensing discounts, which can be passed onto businesses like yours. This means your team may be able to access software suites like Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud at reduced rates.
· License Management: Over-licensing or under-licensing can be costly. Managed IT providers can keep track of your software licenses, ensuring you’re compliant without overspending.
· Alternative Recommendations: Sometimes, costly software can be replaced with more affordable alternatives that offer similar or even better functionalities. Managed IT services, with their vast knowledge of the software market, can make these recommendations.
Reducing Your Dependency on In-House IT:
The most obvious and attractive cost-saving benefit comes from reducing or eliminating your need to maintain an in-house IT team. While there are some benefits to having one or several full-time IT professionals on staff, the cost of that expertise can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses and hard to justify unless you have very extensive or complex IT requirements that need constant attention. If you’re like most businesses, then working with a managed service provider is almost always the most cost-effective way to keep your IT running smoothly, as well as get the consultancy you need to find efficiencies and scale your systems with business growth.
Reduce the Stress & Expense of Your IT with Levit8
Not all managed IT providers are created equal, and to truly enjoy all the cost-saving benefits, it’s essential that you find a reputable firm you can partner with for the long term.
At Levit8, we provide affordable Managed IT Services in Brisbane by gaining a holistic understanding of your business and how it operates. This allows us to tailor IT solutions that harmonise with your strategy and goals, all for a predictable monthly fee that will remain the same without any unexpected price hikes.
If you’re ready to start saving money on IT, give us a call on 1800 538 488 to chat with our team, or reach out via our contact centre.