COVID-19 has changed the way people live and do business, so it’s more important than ever to take a step back and assess the needs of your company. Do you have too many computers for your employees, or not enough? What products and services are you paying for each month? Whether you need to streamline your resources or you find your business bursting at the seams, having infrastructure that doesn’t fit your needs can cost you money and efficiency.
Audit! Audit! Audit!
The first step to rightsizing your business is to take a long look at what you have already. A thorough audit of what you have, what you’re spending, and what you need provides the necessary information to determine the need for, and to begin, any business restructuring. Anderson Technologies recently helped two clients assess their IT infrastructure and identified several areas that are essential to cover in the auditing process.
- Audit the functionality of your equipment. Are you using all the equipment you pay for? Are subscriptions being used to their fullest? Are you struggling to find space or equipment for new employees?
- During our audit, one client found that they were paying for a copier/printer that no one was using. Removing it was an easy way to cut costs.
- Audit all contracts. This process often reveals that you’re actually paying for things you never needed or that do not fit your company’s needs at all. It’s important to go through all contracts to find out exactly what you’ve agreed to, and never sign a multi-year contract without fully understanding what you are purchasing. Contact your IT staff or managed services provider (MSP) if you’re unsure about any technology or software contracts.
- One new client had previously signed a three-year contract to a data center that locked them into paying for far more than they needed.
- Audit all vendors. Vendors who fail to deliver, or who offer subpar goods and services make audits (and removal) easy, but make sure to audit the vendors who have treated you fairly and always delivered, too. Times have changed, so do they still fit your needs? Is it time to change what services they provide or how much you use them? Is it time to switch vendors altogether?
- Look at whether vendors can adjust to your new size over time. They may have been perfect for the size you were, but can they handle your business as it grows? If you need to streamline operations, do they handle smaller companies?
- Audit legacy systems and software. Times change for your industry, too, and advancements in software and technology can improve work efficiency and save money. An old industry-specific software may have been perfect ten years ago, but are there new options available that would save your employees time and hassle? When employees don’t have to battle with outdated systems, they can use their time and effort on more productive tasks.
- Look closely at the software you’ve previously bought outright. Does it have a cloud version that is cheaper and provides consistent updates? Software that no longer receives security patches can pose severe risks to your business and your data. And with so many people working from home due to COVID-19, cloud flexibility can keep your business running no matter where your employees are working.
Throughout the process, keep asking yourself these three questions:
- What do I have that I don’t need?
- What do I need that I don’t have?
- Do I need a physical version or can I move to the cloud?
Streamlining Your Resources
If you need to streamline your resources or adjust to a smaller, sometimes home-bound, workforce, auditing is essential. Don’t think that just because it worked before you should keep doing things that way.
Finding innovative ways to work has been the reality for many businesses in 2020, so it’s more important than ever to audit your business’s changing needs. What programs are you running that you may no longer need? Can your vendor accommodate your new needs? Check contracts to see what options you have to rightsize software or hardware to your changing situation. If your current vendors aren’t able to adapt, it may be time to find a more flexible one that can accommodate present conditions while preparing for future growth.
Another strategy for streamlining your resources is searching for cheaper options to infrastructure you already use. If what you had was working fine, you probably didn’t need to look for new solutions. Take the time now to determine how much money you currently spend on your technology and search for less expensive but robust versions.
Anderson Technologies has seen firsthand how auditing IT systems can save a business’s monthly expenditures. After a thorough look at the computer needs of one new client, our technicians found that the client was paying close to twenty thousand dollars a month on virtual servers they didn’t need. Our IT experts were able to reduce that number to around four thousand dollars per month by rightsizing to the client’s actual needs.
Preparing for Growth
Auditing plays a key role in preparing your business for expansion. Look for what is limiting your business’s growth. If you don’t have enough physical space, being tied to an office can slow down your ability to expand. Cloud options that allow employees to work from anywhere could provide the flexibility your business needs to move forward.
It’s important to work with your IT staff or MSP to keep track of your changing technological needs. With expert help, you can find effective hardware and software so that you don’t over or under buy for your IT infrastructure. It’s also important to have IT professionals maintain your security during both the auditing and operation change process. Your security requirements will grow along with your business. Don’t just stay with what you have now, secure what you are going to be.
A Post-COVID-19 Future
No matter how you need to rightsize your business at the moment, begin planning for your post-COVID-19 business now. Your business is going to continue changing when we move beyond a COVID-19 lifestyle. Prepare for that future now.
Rightsizing gives you the chance to move to technology or vendors that can adapt to both streamlining resources and growing needs. Don’t get tied down to software or vendors who won’t change with you. Invest in your future so you’re ready to move your business forward in this constantly changing world.