IT housekeeping tips - save money, make money

By David Groves, Director of Product Management, Maintel

If you look at most organisations’ IT budgets, regardless of how much or how little money they have, around 80-90% of their total expenditure  goes on keeping existing systems running, rather than introducing innovation to make thing better.

Yet CIOs rarely get thanked for just keeping things going; a good reputation (and career progression) is gained by introducing new capabilities and technology to the organisation which enable new ways of working and make people more effective.

However, in order to drive innovation CIOs need to save money elsewhere to invest.  They need to free up the money, but also the time and crucially the people to do these new things that will benefit the organisation. Effectively they have to save money in order to make money.

At Maintel we always look to help our customers to do things differently and drive positive changes, focusing on the benefits that new technologies and indeed services can bring – but we also understand that saving money is often just as important.   And often it takes an outside perspective to identify those available savings.

So here’s our top checklist of things you can potentially do to free up your resources and budget, so that you can innovate more and best of all we can do most of this for you!

  1. Check your Phone Tariff. Call charges have come down significantly in recent years; the tariff you negotiated two years ago might be quite expensive now. The best way to do this is to get a copy of your phone bill and send it to us – we can calculate how much it would be on some of the alternative tariffs out there.
  2. Move to SIP trunks. SIP trunks carry voice over data networks and  typically cost a third less per month than standard ISDN lines. If you have more than 60 ISDN channels across your sites, SIP will typically pay for itself within 12 months or less.
  3. Make sure everyone is on the same mobile network. Calls between mobile networks are the most expensive, and you should be able to get a reduction on company-to-company calls, whether from fixed lines or other mobiles, if you can commit to a single network provider.
  4. Move to a single phone system. Many companies have lots of different phone systems in each location and then use internal resources to manage them. If you can move to a single phone system, you don’t need to maintain skills in multiple different phone platforms – it’s worth the pain for the long term gain.
  5. Move your communications to the cloud. Combine this tip with number four above and move to an  Opex rather than Capex payment model.– This doesn’t have to be a “rip and replace” option either, it’s quite likely you can re-use a lot of your existing infrastructure and licences. By doing this, you can eliminate the bill shock associated with upgrades, and get moves, adds and changes included in the price.
  6. Move to a single supplier. The costs of managing multiple suppliers are often under-estimated; it consumes significant amounts of management time, which is time better spent innovating or planning, not responding to events and making sure different suppliers are playing nicely with each other.
  7. Ask your service provider to calculate services credits for you. Most service providers wait for you to make a claim for poor service, then check if you’re entitled to a credit. By using a good provider, you can reduce the overhead of managing partners still further.

The key resource in  any IT function is it’s people – if you can get your people to spend less of their time keeping the lights on, then you can instead use them to deliver innovation and technology to improve productivity, make the organisation more efficient, save money and ultimately gain a competitive advantage. The best way to do this is to talk to an organisation where keeping those metaphorical communications systems lights working is their core business.  That’s what we do.