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IT Budget Planning: Getting More for Less

By admin on June 19th 2017

Stand on the shoulders of giants and you’ll see further horizons. At the elevation of enterprise technology, that means leaping challenges in a single bound. But does your business have the capital to maximize the potential? That’s the question for many small to mid-sized Atlantic Canadian businesses.

Growing numbers of businesses want to be responsive to innovation. Computerworld’s Tech Forecast 2017 found 41% of IT managers intended to increase technology budgets this year, but practical choices restrain their full productive potential. The good news is those restrictions are mostly a misconception – if your IT budget planning maximizes the ROI of every dollar. Here are the strategic technologies businesses use to achieve greater productivity for less.

Monitoring and Ticketing Platforms

These days, anything shy of peak technical performance causes deep productivity losses. Even the gap of six months between two iterations of the same software rivals the span of the Confederation Bridge. That’s why small to mid-sized businesses especially need real-time updates. For them, waste is less excusable and underperforming technical assets impact deliverability even further.

Proactive monitoring and ticketing platforms recognize issues before the damage is done. This software is designed to review an organization’s technical assets for problem areas and either notify technicians or automate fixes. Audits are no longer limited to the availability of a technician’s schedule. The monitoring tool compares aging IT hardware, deteriorating components, out-of-date operating systems, and subpar memory to today’s requirements and highlights these threats.

What does this look like from a practical standpoint? Monitoring platforms recognize when a server’s CPU is running too hot, reporting the hazard to technicians so they can incorporate a replacement into their IT budget planning. They monitor the status of employee PCs, identifying when disk space is nearing the red or software updates are hurting ideal productivity. Many warning signs, imperceptible to the human eye, get noticed early and prevent expensive losses in productivity. Technology is pushed to its full strategic lifespan and is then replaced once its competitive edge is blunted.

Best of all, monitoring and ticketing software is going proactive. Our own tools are able to follow automated parameters to find problems and rectify them. Let’s say there are unnecessary bloatware files on a computer slowing its performance. Monitoring programs identify the issues and uninstall the problems without involving technicians or interrupting users. When there are more complicated issues, a new ticket is automatically created for technicians to investigate and fix.

To get the same performance without using a monitoring and ticketing system is like using a spoon to dig your way to a goldmine. Companies would have to make their IT technician do time consuming physical inventories or waste time developing scripts to do a fraction of what the platform can achieve. The money that goes into labor hours alone is worth the IT investment, but the savings from proactive replacements control the way IT budgets are spent. Reactive fixes give way to proactive repairs.

Backup & Recovery

Business continuity has the potential to be an expensive aspect of IT budget planning. More than just making copies on external drives, a good IT disaster recovery plan implements safety nets that remove them from the threat of prolonged outages or data loss. Being able to spin up drives in a few hours compared to a few weeks in the wake of a disaster is well worth the expense. But there are ways to limit the costs.

Consider some of the data backup and recovery options on the market. Datto backup solutions deliver a high ROI for the performance, speed, and reliability of their hardware. Whether a natural disaster or hardware failure disrupt business, virtual servers spin up machines almost immediately. Employees are then able to access business critical servers and data. Our own experience with Datto business continuity changes the time needed for companies to resume productivity from several weeks to several hours at most.

Azure Site Recovery is another cost-effective way to ensure business continuity. Their cloud solution offers backup and recovery for as little as $0.03 per Gigabyte. In the event of a disaster, you can temporarily host servers on the Azure cloud, keeping data secured in the process. You only pay for their hosting services when using it. If and when you go back to on-site storage after the hardware has been repaired or replaced, this expense goes away. 

Natural disasters cost $175 billion worldwide in 2016. Studies find that 1 in 4 small to mid-sized businesses do not reopen after a disaster. Without strong backup and recovery solutions in their IT budget, they risk losing millions in irreplaceable data and productive hours in the wake of a disaster. This type of solution is priceless in the long run.

Using a Managed IT Service Provider to Maximize Your IT Budget Planning

The results of these services and solutions help to lower business expenses, but what are the upfront costs?

  • New Ticketing System: $20,000
  • New Monitoring System: $20,000
  • Disaster and Backup Recovery: $10,000 to $20,000

The cost of in-house IT staff makes affording those solutions difficult for small to mid-sized businesses.  However, working with a managed IT service provider decreases the costs significantly. We are able to invest in monitoring and ticketing systems because we are able to disperse the cost over a number of different clients. Thanks to our experience, we are able to identify the most cost-effective backup and recovery solutions to keep your productivity continuous. And you don’t have the compensation, benefits, and training expenses associated with an in-house IT staff when you work with a managed IT provider.

Start improving your IT budget planning by contact us today. We can audit your system for free to see what productivity boosting technologies are within your reach.

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