As we hit the New Year, people often take the opportunity to assess many elements of their life and their business. However, why do we only do this at New Year? Assessing business costs should be something you do regularly. Taking the time to ensure you are getting the best service at the best costs to meet your business needs is vital for your expenditure and ultimately your bottom line.

The only problem is, we can’t all be experts in every area and often, people avoid the areas they have little or no interest in. It would be fair to say, I find I.T. is at the top of some individuals lack of understanding list, so here are a few areas you can consider when looking to reduce costs:

1/ Audio and visual communication

This is where you may wish to start. Is your audio and visual communication equipment up to date and are you making the most of technology available? Often, when arranging a meeting we assume that these need to take place face to face. While there is no question that face to face meetings are great, why not consider video conferencing for meetings? This way you do not lose valuable time travelling or any outlay for expensive travel costs.

Updating your boardroom to have an excellent television, camera and audio hardware will ensure your conference calls are successful and productive.

2/ Bespoke Programming

Recently, I was approached by a client who was cross referring databases in excel manually. This was time consuming and not cost effective, it also allowed room for human error which, in this case, could have been damaging for the company and their clients.

I was able to build a bespoke program which compared one data set with the other. By using this system, the client has reported a 60% time efficiency saving. This means staff members can spend more time on their operational roles rather than checking databases.

Bespoke programming, is not necessarily something that businesses consider when looking for a solution to a problem. However, it can solve many efficiency problems faced and it does not have to be expensive. Therefore, it is worth considering where you could make efficiencies by using coding within your business.

3/ Back up Data

You may have rolled your eyes at the title of this point. It’s hopefully been drilled into you that backing up data within a business should be something that you do automatically. We are taught early on to save and back up our work, but you would be surprised at the amount of companies that still do not do this or do not have secure back-up facilities in the face of crisis management.

Often, this is something that is considered once you have experienced a crash, resulting in a panic about the amount of data or work you may have lost. The time and money you can save by backing up your system is huge and is something that all companies MUST do to guarantee future security and safety.

4/ Information security

According to the government Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, “over four in ten businesses (43%) and two in ten charities (19%) experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.” Surprisingly only “three-quarters of businesses (74%) and over half of all charities (53%) say that cyber security is a high priority for their organisation’s senior management.”

I would urge any organisation to make cyber security a high priority. Malicious attacks on businesses do not only happen to high profile organisations. Smaller businesses can be attacked due to the importance of the information you may store within your computers. We often joke that we would not know what to do if our systems went down but imagine if your system was attacked while you were working on an important tender or client report. What would you do then?

5/ Server Infrastructure

Larger organisations, generally, have a larger server infrastructure. As a business grows, so does its I.T. requirement, which can sometimes result in an inefficient use of servers, unless you are extremely organised. Through consultation, organisations can find that they are spending a large amount of money (upward of £4000 a month) on unnecessary data servers.

If you are using more than one data server to host your organisation’s information, it is worth assessing whether this is required to meet your business needs.

Many of my cost savings come from creating efficient business processes and some may seem rather obvious, but most of these points are not considered until it is too late.

We would love to support even more local businesses and therefore are currently offering all businesses based within 10 miles of Exeter a half price set-up fee if you sign up before 21st January. If you would like to discuss any of these points with me or if you would like a no obligation quote, please do contact me on 01392 66 06 08 or email enquiries@toftech.co.uk