Every business looks for ways to streamline costs, whether those are production, marketing, operating, technology, or any other cost. By streamlining expenses and resource allocation, you’re able to operate more efficiently while reducing wasted resources and money. When it comes to IT costs, streamlining can save you a significant amount. Businesses often make unnecessary purchases or purchase technology that they only use for a year or two. That’s a huge waste of time and money.
What’s the solution? One of the easiest ways to avoid making costly purchase mistakes, streamline your costs, and ensure that your resources are being allocated in the most efficient way possible is to bring in an IT managed solutions provider like Wooden Spoon. Having an outside perspective is often the key to reducing wasteful spending and improving poorly thought-out processes. Let’s look at what streamlining involves and how an MSP can help.
How Can Partnering with an IT Managed Solutions Provider Help Streamline IT Costs?
There are a number of different ways an MSP can help you control your IT costs. In some cases, you may have already recognized and implemented some of these cost-saving solutions, but in other cases, this outside perspective may be exactly what you need to see where you can save some money.
MSPs take a holistic look at your technology
One of the first things that an MSP will do when working with you is do an analysis of your technology. When Wooden Spoon does this, we look at the big picture—how does all of your IT work together? We look for issues with your hardware and software, including functionality, age, and security. We may see ways to swap out older hardware for new options that are more energy-efficient or that can replace several pieces of equipment. The idea is to simplify where possible so that you don’t need to allocate your resources to so many different areas.
Often, businesses lose track of the bigger picture as they grow. If you didn’t create a flexible, scalable IT strategy when you started your business, it’s likely your IT has grown in some weird ways. Think of a scalable solution like a well-pruned tree: you can see how the stable roots create a strong trunk that branches off into IT for different offices and departments. If your IT wasn’t planned out well, though, the tree may have most of its branches on one side of the trunk, a few really long and oddly shaped ones at the top, and hundreds of short roots. This misshapen IT tree won’t withstand the strong winds of a disaster. You may not be able to truly see the issues, though, which is why having a holistic analysis of your technology is important.
They create a plan
If you don’t have an IT strategy or plan, working with an MSP is the first step to correcting this oversight. A well-planned technology roadmap will help you anticipate needs and purchases. Earlier, we mentioned unnecessary purchases. These purchases are often made by companies that don’t have a clear plan for their technology or their company. You might spend a lot of money on putting together an office, only to decide a few years later that you want your team to work remotely instead. With an IT plan that complements your overall business strategy, you won’t spend money on things you don’t need or won’t use long-term.
They standardize equipment and processes
There’s a reason certain technology setups and processes are used by a large percentage of businesses: they work, and they’re the current most effective option. If you’re using other processes or setups, you may be spending more money than necessary or using your resources ineffectively. Wooden Spoon will help you align your technology and processes with today’s best practices while also preparing you to shift in case those best practices change tomorrow.
Working with an MSP prepares you for the worst
You may not consider preparing for disasters to be a part of streamlining IT costs, but any type of disaster that affects your data or your equipment typically comes with a cost. By working with an MSP, you can put into place plans such as a preventative maintenance schedule and a disaster recovery plan. When something like a data breach, crashed server, or even an earthquake occurs, you need to know what steps to take to get your business back up and running.
With a recovery plan, you won’t waste money, time, or other resources in making missteps or failing to respond to the disaster promptly. Instead, you’ll have an outline for what tasks need doing, who is responsible for those tasks, and when they need to complete them. You’ll be back up and running in as little time as possible, so you don’t lose that much revenue.
The Predictable Pricing Model
One of the biggest ways working with an MSP can help you keep your budget under control, however, is not what work they do. It’s by the pricing model they use. MSPs operate on a subscription model. This means you pay a negotiated monthly fee for specific services. Think of it as Netflix for your IT management. If you didn’t have Netflix, you would have to buy all the movies you wanted to see, which would add up. The same is true with an MSP. You would need to hire various IT experts, coordinate with contractors, and spend money on things you may not actually need.
Knowing what your monthly IT costs will be also greatly helps you budget and allocate your financial resources properly. Even if you do decide you need your MSP to take on a little more work in exchange for a slightly higher fee, you can still more easily budget for that than, say, a sudden extra ten grand for new hardware you didn’t realize you needed. The value of having a team of experts on your side, especially during a crisis such as a data breach, can be priceless.
We’ve mentioned resource allocation a few times, but how are resources allocated in IT? Your business’s resources can often be put into three categories: money, people, and stuff. You may have other things to allocate, such as space in a building, but these things can usually be included in the “stuff” category.
An MSP isn’t a full business consultant—we can’t help you allocate your budget across your entire company, for example. However, we can help you with your IT budget, equipment, and personnel. By analyzing your current IT setup, outlining your future needs, and working with you to develop a strong IT strategy to meet those needs, we’ll be able to advise you where to best spend your money. We’ll help you meet current technology best practices, meet your needs, and avoid unnecessary purchases.
By bringing in an MSP, you also streamline your human resource allocation. Your team can focus on what’s important, which includes dealing with daily issues such as password resets and permissions, while also working on in-house projects that only your employees can do. We handle everything else, including network monitoring and analysis.
What Wooden Spoon Can Do for You
Once you’ve decided to partner with Wooden Spoon, we’ll come in and do a deep analysis of your technology and IT infrastructure. We’ll point out areas that need to be upgraded or brought into line with standard practices. We will help you determine what your plan is going forward for your IT or if your current plan is feasible. Where possible, we’ll ensure that your technology is scalable and flexible in case you do need to change direction with little or no warning. Our goal is to make certain that your current IT needs are met while preparing you to meet future IT needs while keeping to your set budget.
The exact plan we work out with you will depend on your needs and where you currently stand with your technology. We’ll give you a prioritized roadmap so you upgrade, replace, or add the necessary items to your infrastructure in the right order. We’ll help you budget for these items and create an implementation plan for them as you purchase them. Once your infrastructure is up-to-date, we’ll routinely review your IT plans to ensure that they’re still relevant and aligned with your overall business goals.
IT isn’t something that’s ever truly “finished.” There will always be new technology that does things better for fewer resources. There will also be new technology that completely replaces older equipment or does things that technology has never done before. We’ll be here with you to determine when this new technology should be implemented or to discuss if it’s even relevant to your industry.
No matter what we do with your technology, our driving principle is to put people first. You and your team are always our priority. When we approach a problem, our goal is to always determine how we can remove as much stress as possible from the situation. That may mean creating temporary fixes so your team can get back to work while we prepare more permanent solutions. We know lost productivity can never be fully recovered, and we do whatever we can to avoid that.
Want to know more? Contact Wooden Spoon today to discuss how we can help you.