A change in the economy means a change in priorities and a need to adapt to new budgetary constraints. According to Brian Kirsch, Senior Vice President of Sales at Onepath, companies should not overlook information technology (IT) in their scramble to optimize their overall spending.
When preparing your business for a recession, it’s important to consider how tech plays a role in daily operations. What tech is absolutely essential to your company, and what tools aren’t worth the price? To a degree, these answers are company-specific, but there are still a few that hold true across all businesses. Four suggestions how to optimize IT spend:
1. Evaluate your assets
During a recession, you’re going to need to make some budgetary cuts. Unfortunately, this might mean parting ways with a partner or choosing not to pursue a new opportunity. But another factor to consider is your assets: which ones do you absolutely need? Are certain assets worth fixing instead of updating? And can an asset actually save you money?
Of course, you’ll need to keep the lights on, and you should certainly keep your security system up to date. Your IT backbone and unified communications are also important – you can’t make money if you can’t communicate business. In the end, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer; the assets you cut or upgrade will depend upon what your business requires most.
2. Automate to save money
Tech automates processes, thereby saving you money (and time). It also goes a long way toward making daily tasks smoother and work environments more positive. Thus, when making decisions regarding your IT, you’ll want to consider which tools automate your processes, save you money, and/or benefit your clients and employees. Additionally, you might want to rethink any CapEx models and go with the more cost-effective OpEx.
Now isn’t the time to buy tech just because it looks shiny. Instead, it’s time to think strategically: will investing in new tech offer the greatest ROI? And can you afford the upfront expense of investing? Additionally, will the tech you have now soon grow obsolete? Are any tools nearing end of life? All of these factors are worth considering, as they’ll have long term consequences (or potential payoffs).
3. Dig into the data
Data analytics tools are useful when making decisions for your business. And during a recession, these tools will become even more important, as they’ll help you predict which steps to take next. Business analytics tools can help you identify patterns within your own business, as well as fluctuations in those patterns. They can also help you more generally identify market trends, which will help you align your offerings with changing demands.
4. Outsource non-strategic to MSP
If you’re looking for reliable, cost-effective technology, a managed service provider (MSP) is the way to go. A managed service provider simply has more bandwidth than an in-house IT team, and they can bundle technologies to help you save on upfront costs.
Additionally, a MSP’s OpEx model makes technology more affordable and better supported. Essentially, an managed service provider ensures you’re able to afford the IT and IT support you need, regardless of your budget.