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Next Level Technology has been serving the Hunt Valley area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Control What You Can Control: Technology Expenses

Control What You Can Control: Technology Expenses

In every industry, businesses face challenges in managing their IT costs. With the costs associated with the acquisition of infrastructure, security protocols, and end-to-end management, a small business owner may have a hard time putting together a budget that meets the technological needs of his/her company; leaving a degree of uncertainty that, if negative situations manifest, produces a great deal of risk. Couple that risk with the fact that in the course of doing business, capital is often allocated soon after it is deemed profit, finding ways to mitigate your organization's technology risks is advisable.

Typically, the small business spends a fair amount of their revenue on improving and managing their IT. The average expenditure by small businesses as of the first quarter of 2017 is about 6.5 percent. If you are allocating 6.5% of your budget to anything it’s important, but often IT costs can be unpredictable. Systems fail, there are management lapses, and allocated funds are used inefficiently. At Next Level Technology, this is where we like to interject. Technology is a tool, and since so many businesses lean so heavily on it, it’s important to understand that to keep your business on budget, it is advantageous to consider utilizing technology services.

Before we get into the services your business can use to mitigate technology expenses, it’s important that you understand to understand the total cost of ownership of your current IT. With so many small businesses looking to technology to level the playing field with their larger contemporaries, making effective decisions about which technology to purchase outright (and maintain) is important. For example, if you run restaurant and you are looking to install a new point of sale system, you will need to get the hardware necessary to run the POS system, cable and/or network it together to create continuity, and maintain the system with software improvements when they are made available.

Total cost of ownership (TCO) goes a step further, on top of the hardware, software, administration, and management of the solution, it also takes into account indirect costs such as downtime. This helps decision-makers ascertain the value of the technology. In fact, TCO calculation can open your eyes to the real value of your IT, not just the cost of it (as the upfront cost of any piece of hardware actually makes up only a fraction of your TCO). According to Gartner, up to 80 percent of IT costs come after the purchase of a piece of technology. If that holds true, controlling organizational IT management costs suddenly seems like a much more important factor in reducing the TCO of your physical IT solutions.

That’s where managed IT services come in. A certified and experienced IT administrator can command a pretty formidable salary--upwards of $60,000 per year--and because of that, by hiring one a smaller business can really handcuff themselves. Furthermore, your IT administrator may not be able to give you all the information you need if you want to design a cloud-based computing platform to build additional scalability, flexibility, and collaboration for your business with your IT infrastructure. Most IT administrators know plenty about network security, hardware and software setup and management, and the solid practices setting up and managing all of your onsite IT, but creating a migration and virtualization plan to a collocated cloud server may not be within their expertize. A managed service provider (MSP) not only promises end-to-end management and support of your organization’s IT, it also provides organizations the perspectives and expertise that are needed to tackle today’s most thought-provoking business-technology issues.

They provide a great service, but how does an MSP help you cut costs? One is thoroughness. Any MSP worth a salt will help a business manage and maintain an IT infrastructure from end-to-end, meaning that organization will see far less downtime. With remote monitoring and management software, the MSP can automate many of the time-consuming tasks that keeps a business running efficiently, while still having the expertise of professional technicians looking for issues on your network before they become actual problems for your business. The removal of technology downtime (and thus employee downtime) can reduce an organization’s technology TCO, while building the efficient and productive workplace all small business owners are looking for.

Another cost cutting solution can be the utilization of cloud computing platforms that provide organizations robust accessibility and scalability. Replacing your servers and migrating data can be the most expensive IT expense a business has to deal with, it’s a fact that if your organization demands that all their data is stored onsite, you will be paying for it. Today’s small business owner has more hosted IT options than ever before. From complete server solutions, to application deployment, network security deployment, storage, development platforms, and more, cloud computing is a reliable and secure option that will allow for substantial capital savings in lieu of a consistent monthly payment.

If your business is looking to cut your IT costs, Next Level Technology’s dedicated IT consultants can tell you how you can shift huge capital outlays into operational costs, saving your company money, and providing end-to-end computing support for a fraction of what you would spend if you were to use traditional IT management methods. Protecting your business’ technology is important, but you don’t have to mortgage large portions of your time and money doing so. Call us today at 410-616-2070 to learn more.

 

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Monday, 23 October 2017
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