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As we enter an economic downturn, all IT departments are looking for ways to trim the fat. Here at Atera, we’re always looking to support our customers in achieving their goals, and doing so without sending IT costs sky-high!

Here are nine top tips that you can use to reduce costs across your IT department as we enter 2023.

Consolidate redundant IT tools

Each of your tools and technologies has a subscription or a license fee attached, and these can quickly stack up. That’s all well and good if each technology performs a vital function, but the truth is that many disparate technologies have overlapping functionalities, or would function better if they were a cohesive whole.

For example, an RMM and a PSA that work together as one software tool makes a lot more sense than managing the helpdesk and RMM separately.

Eliminate the technologies you don’t need

As well as consolidating tools, it can also make sense to remove some altogether. This could be hardware or software, as everything that is running under your roof is costing you money, and if you don’t need it, that’s money poorly spent. Start by running a thorough Network Discovery scan, which will give you a complete list of everything in your IT environment, including all assets, endpoints, hardware, and software.

Ask yourself what’s being used to its best advantage, and what can easily be removed or discontinued. Make sure to run the scan at a regular cadence to keep everything running in its best and leanest shape.

Support a remote workforce

What started as a must-have because of the COVID-19 pandemic has become a powerful business strategy. Many employees love the freedom and flexibility of working from home, and you can’t deny it cuts IT costs as well! Whether it’s office space, overheads, or even keeping the Nespresso machine running, supporting employees with a WFH policy that meets their needs is a great way of adding money back to the company pot. Make sure you have tools such as Atera Work From Home which makes it as easy and secure as it is cost-effective.

Keep an eye on licenses

With a full view of all of your licenses for all applications and services, you can quickly spot which ones are underused, and which are necessary to renew. Shaving IT costs off at this level is a great way to improve your financial situation without any real impact on the business. In order to make this happen, you need full visibility into application and service licenses. One great example is Atera’s Microsoft Licensing Report, which shows details such as installed Office versions, keys, stations, and more.

Use this pricing calculator

Not sure whether you’re getting the best deal for your IT software? We get it, there are so many options on the market, and it’s tough to get the data from all the noise. At Atera, we’re here to help. Our pricing calculator makes it simple, allowing you to enter your number of technicians, the number of endpoints you manage, and your current IT software costs, and we provide a simple figure of how much you could save each year. Give it a try!

Add automation where it moves the needle

As the world becomes increasingly digital, AI and automation are taking over some of the repetitive and manual tasks which can take many hours of the day from your technicians and engineers. Take patch management for example. This used to take people a day or more to complete each month, and it was rife with errors or missing patches. Today, patch management can be automated from end to end, with alerts for any missing patches that can be handled manually, but the work is being done 98% behind the scenes. Include the AI into your operations. In the realm of IT cost optimization, embracing cutting-edge technologies is pivotal. One of the game-changing approaches is integrating Helpdesk AI into your operations. This AI-powered IT solution can significantly streamline issue resolution, reducing the need for extensive manual interventions. By incorporating AI service desk capabilities, routine tasks can be automated, freeing up valuable human resources for more complex challenges. An AI service desk not only expedites ticket resolution but also offers predictive insights, helping preemptively address potential disruptions. Embracing AI solutions, such as a robust AI helpdesk, marks a strategic leap towards achieving cost efficiency while enhancing overall IT performance.

Monitor employee productivity and IT costs

Labor costs are often the largest slice of the pie, so it stands to reason that if you’re looking to save money, you need to look to your employees. First look at obvious IT costs that you could reduce, such as independent contractors working on tasks that could be handled in-house, or in a contract — a full-time employee who could be replaced by a handful of freelance hours! Then, use reports and analytics to check the productivity of your technicians, and look to learn from those who are working according to best practices, letting go of those who are not.

Work on your turnover

We’ve all heard the data more than once: it costs far more to hire and train a new employee than it does to retain an existing one. Your employees don’t want to leave, especially during an economic downturn. However, they won’t stick around if they don’t feel supported. If you don’t have a good track record with turnover, look at ways to boost employee morale and engagement, such as providing the right tools so that they can work more strategically, opening a channel for feedback, and encouraging flexibility, time off, and learning and development opportunities. Need some practical tips? This advice from workplace experts, Slack, is a great place to begin.

Plan to do it once

We love Gartner’s advice about reducing IT costs quickly. “Plan to do it once.” There’s no point in cutting costs in a small way now, and then needing to revisit cost-cutting again within a few months or even a year. This may only upset and confuse employees, especially where layoffs are concerned. According to Gartner, “This creates a destructive and unproductive cycle of uncertainty, effort, and lost productivity.” Make sharp decisions now that have a real impact, and you’ll be less likely to need to embark on another round of cost-cutting later.

The right software can help you keep IT costs at a minimum, and run your business operations to its best potential. Check out Atera, the all-in-one IT software with a pricing model that can’t be beat.

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