Overhead shot of laptop components and tools for IT support.

Businesses have had a lot to deal with over the last couple of years (let’s not mention the ‘C’ word) but now in the aftermath of a global emergency, new challenges are emerging especially when it comes to the increase in business expenses.

With this in mind, we have compiled a list of common concerns and questions regarding the cost of IT for businesses and answered them from our experience.

The first thing that should be at the forefront of your mind before you even look at your systems must be to trust and review.

What am I currently paying for?

When looking at the cost of your current support, you need to consider:

  1. What level are the support staff trained to?
  2. How fast does your support company respond to your requests?
  3. Do they monitor and maintain your systems (with proof)?
  4. Do they provide you with options for developing your IT and getting the most out of it?
  5. Do they offer a plethora of services to provide you with a single point of contact?

If you are not getting good quality support and trustworthy advice, then that “cheap” IT support becomes less of a saving, and more of a waste of money.

Ask your IT company for a list of services they are providing to you with a breakdown of costs and get an equivalent quote from another supplier.

Is it cheaper to move my IT to the cloud?

The cost of hosting services in the cloud can vary depending on your business requirements. We have moved many of our customers to the cloud for all of their services meaning the outlay for hardware is avoided and will never have to be a consideration in the future.

The key here again is getting the right advice, support, and training from an IT company you trust. That way it will feel like a walk in the park and not the huge task you think it will be.

How do I plan for large IT costs?

This should be something that your IT company does for you. Actively updated development proposals and equipment lifecycles will mean that you are able to plan for one-off IT expenditures. You should also be looking at ways to avoid large costs by using cloud services and keeping your systems maintained.

Should I use ad hoc support or sign up for a monthly IT contract?

With managed contracts you will know exactly what your outgoing costs are every month, enabling you to budget accordingly. Ad hoc can not only end up costing a lot more over the long term but can, unfortunately, restrict the development of your IT systems. We always recommend utilising monthly contracts as you get all the benefits of maintained and monitored systems, and development proposals to help with IT costs.

Should I have an internal IT department?

A lot of companies under 75 users do not need an internal IT department or staff member. Having a support contract with an IT company is generally cheaper than paying staff in house, but this really depends on your business needs. If you have an internal department, you need to factor in the costs of training the staff to perform your system migrations and keep on top of technologies, or your IT systems will become outdated and unproductive.

Can my charity get discounts on IT services?

Charities can get numerous discounts and your IT company should know about these and be open about them. Microsoft offers incredible discounts across the spectrum of their cloud services, as do most software companies, so speak to your IT company about them.

The takeaway from this should be a cost vs benefit exercise, where you look at your IT requirements and weigh up the costs to provide your company with everything it needs to thrive.

Succulent plants on a computer desk and a sign in the background, "Southern Solutions IT support you can trust".

If you would like free advice and a review of your current IT requirements, then do not hesitate to contact Oli here at Southern Solutions on 02382 022099.