Your IT is essential to your business, but without the proper support, your firm is only one technical mishap away from real trouble. Making your IT support a priority means that costs can quickly grow out of control, eating up your IT budget. Think of your support costs as a garden – if you don’t keep it in check, it’ll continue to grow. It’s not always obvious how you can save money and maintain high levels of support.
IT Support costs in context
If your organisation has been around for a while, the chances are that your current IT infrastructure is at best, complex and at worst, unmanageable. We adopt new systems in good faith – to help our organisations grow or to keep customers happy. The problem is that the new systems can vie with legacy software, leaving your IT processes in a mess. For every new system, maintenance and support costs creep up accordingly. We’re soon left with a huge bill and it can be hard to choose where to cut, to keep costs within budget.
Simplifying your IT Support framework
From medium enterprises upwards, roles can overlap, leading to confusion about responsibilities. Staff can end up treading on one another’s toes and key tasks can slip through the net. For example, Service Delivery and Operations want a simple service-level agreement from preferred suppliers. IT directors and CFOs seek increased productivity and cost efficiencies. Data Centre managers need to focus on reliability, consistent uptime and uninterrupted service, regardless of platform. CTOs may be seeking new technologies to develop overall service proposition. Each of these is a competing priority to be met, and selecting a single approach represents a significant challenge. It’s possible to meet the challenge, but deliberations, research and shifting priorities may result in a mutated outcome. You need a single person to take responsibility for optimising your approach to IT support.
Pruning back the costs of your IT Support
Given these challenges, is it actually possible to cut outlay and maintain a high quality of service? The good news is that it’s not only possible, but can actually improve service whilst still cutting costs. As with any crucial decision, there are a number of key considerations to weigh before deciding which choices to make. On the next two pages we have given our top 10 points to consider; so enjoy our insider industry advice on streamlining services and keeping on top of the money:
1. First establish the costs for maintaining the right level of support on multiple products (in and out of vendors’ warranty). Remember, ad hoc support will often be more expensive so consider the potential benefits of different contract coverage.
2. Support contracts need to be easy to maintain. Are you given a single point of contact? Are they easy to get a hold of? If you are finding the communication bad at the sales level then consider whether this will improve later or not.
3. If you need a guaranteed fix time rather than…