The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to go into a cost-saving mode as they do their best to prepare for an uncertain future of inconsistent revenue and potential lockdowns.
Considering that businesses of all sizes had been very generous with their IT budgets before the infectious disease found its way into most parts of the world, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many decision-makers have decided that unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, with the reduction of IT costs being one of them.
These businesses now face the difficult task of balancing IT cost reduction with the need to maintain a strong cybersecurity posture. Losing this posture would make it easier for opportunistic cybercriminals to breach their defenses and gain access to sensitive information or mission-critical systems.
Can Robust Cybersecurity Be Inexpensive?
That depends on how you define “robust” and “inexpensive.” If you mean cybersecurity measures that can effectively keep a business protected against all common threats while costing less than what most businesses of the same size spend on cybersecurity, then the answer is: yes, robust cybersecurity can, indeed, be inexpensive.
That’s because robust cybersecurity is more about people and processes than it is about expensive software. In fact, it’s better to implement a few carefully selected security technologies than a whole host of them, without ever giving much thought to how they complement one another.
As long as the reduction of IT costs doesn’t prevent the IT department from getting the fundamentals of basic cybersecurity right, the overall cybersecurity posture of the business should remain equally strong.
5 Ways to Reduce IT Costs Without Compromising Cybersecurity
All businesses today rely on information technology to operate at peak efficiency, which means that simply starving IT departments of financial resources to make it through trying times is not an option. Instead, businesses should explore the following ways to reduce IT costs without compromising cybersecurity and, consequently, their competitiveness.
1. Embrace Software Inventory Management
Software licenses represent a substantial portion of the overall IT expenditure of most businesses, and the goal of software inventory management is to track their use within an IT environment and calculate their financial impact. We take care of this for our Managed Services clients.
Even small businesses with just a few employees often spend money on software they no longer use or don’t actually need. Such businesses can save a lot by keeping a record of the quantity of software or applications installed, and they can also avoid hefty non-compliance fines that often await those who forget to review their licenses and let them expire.
2. Consider Open-Source Software
It’s not uncommon for businesses to pay for the same software applications for years on end without ever considering cheaper alternatives. More specifically, they don’t consider open-source software, which typically eliminates licensing costs while delivering similar functionality.
Of course, not every software application can or should be replaced by an open-source alternative, but there are many open-source solutions, such as Odoo, Dolibarr, or LibreOffice, that have proven themselves to be worthy alternatives to their proprietary counterparts.
Open-source software is not inherently more or less secure than proprietary software because the fact that there are many eyes reviewing the code is outweighed by the very real possibility that some of those eyes may have malicious intentions.
3. Move to the Cloud
Cloud technology is certainly not a buzzword anymore, and most business owners are already familiar with its benefits, which include improved business continuity, greater scalability, collaboration efficiency, and flexibility of work practices, just to give some examples.
But just because business owners have heard about the numerous benefits of the cloud doesn’t mean they have embraced it to cut down their IT costs. In fact, one survey of small and medium-sized businesses’ cloud computing strategy revealed that there are still around 10 percent of SMBs with no cloud strategy whatsoever.
Such businesses are spending substantial amounts of money on physical hardware that requires constant maintenance and is guaranteed to become obsolete in just a few years. By moving at least some systems and data to the cloud, it’s possible for SMBs to reduce IT costs without compromising cybersecurity.
4. Use Less Expensive Hardware
As unfortunate as it may be, all hardware devices have a limited lifespan, but the value for money they provide can be vastly different. When the time comes to replace current hardware, it’s always a good idea to research all available options and consider if it’s worth paying extra for the premium one.
Businesses can equip their employees with budget Windows laptops and PCs, but it’s important that they diligently consider the long-term financial consequences of any budget purchase. For example, IBM is more than happy to spend extra on Macs because the company says its Apple devices save IT time and money over time since they generate less customer support tickets, last longer, and are less likely to experience a malware infection.
5. Outsource to a Managed Services Provider (MSP)
Even large enterprises with vast resources don’t do everything in-house, and neither should SMBs. By partnering with an experienced managed services provider, small businesses can enjoy access to the same first-class technologies and expertise as the largest players in the industry.
Although cost efficiency is perhaps the most common reason to consider a partnership with an MSP, followed by convenience, there are many other important reasons to keep in mind, such as access to top talent, compliance and risk mitigation, improved flexibility and scalability, and around-the-clock incident response management.
Should a crisis arise, the business that has partnered with an MSP can maintain focus on core activities and let the MSP handle the situation, whereas the business that has decided against a partnership with an MSP has to shut down operations and deal with the problem first.
For these and other reasons, a partnership with an MSP is always a great choice when it comes to reducing IT costs without compromising cybersecurity. If you’re interested in Minneapolis managed services, then you should contact us at TechGen Consulting and let us help you tame your IT budget.
This year, many businesses around the world have been forced to dramatically reduce their IT costs, which has left many worrying about their cybersecurity. In this article, we’ve explained that robust cybersecurity can be affordable, but it requires businesses to reduce their IT costs the right way, such as by partnering with a managed services provider and borrowing its experience and cost-efficient processes.