This month, we focus on the real-world challenges affecting organisations amid the cost of living and global financial crisis. Chief Technology Officer John Keyser and Operations Director Spencer Hanley share useful advice on how to work with smaller budgets and recognise opportunities for improvement.
John and Spencer are keen to reassure organisations that there are positive steps they can take. To make immediate cost savings, be more efficient and maintain the best IT infrastructure for both present and future ways of working.
John sets the scene, “Most organisations are under growing pressure to reduce costs. IT is one area that could potentially save money; and it can be achieved without compromising on security, availability or speed. In fact, we’re seeing many opportunities for improving IT services hand in hand with delivering cost savings.”
“You may have already identified some areas for improvement. You may have service contracts that you suspect you could be overpaying for that are also under-delivering. A thorough audit by our team will help to complete a clear picture of your situation. Together we can then explore solutions that are right for your business.”
Spencer suggests thinking before going down the Cost Reduction Consultant route. “Organisations are reviewing their budgets with even greater scrutiny. Looking at every line item, sorted from the highest number to the lowest. Someone will be asking – Why are we paying £x per year for this? We know IT department salaries represent some of the highest costs in a business, so of course, this line will need to be justified. This is where ISUMO can assist with a solution to reduce staffing costs in key expensive IT personnel, without the consultant’s fee.”
John explains how organisations should examine the levels of expertise they actually need.
“In many cases, employers are employing more IT specialists than they need. Our clients save money on their salary bills by NOT employing experienced, expensive specialists. Engaging ISUMO to cover their responsibilities instead. A cost-effective scenario would be an IT Manager with a small team of engineers monitoring what’s happening on the ground, actioning level 1 & 2 requests and common incidents, with ISUMO responsible for the more complex areas on a suitable SLA. All of us working as one team. We can quickly prove the cost reduction and the added value of partnering with us. Any organisation with an IT department of more than 5 personnel needs to look differently at IT management, and potentially save thousands of pounds.”
Spencer points out ISUMO’S managed IT service is ideal for supporting any size of IT team with or without squeezed budgets.
“Our skilled resource serves as a solution to the issues businesses face day in and day out, even in the good times. You may recognise the scenario which we often see; a top-earning specialist IT engineer leaves an organisation with all the key knowledge of that organisation’s IT infrastructure. Leaving an expensive role to fill and a gap in specialist knowledge. Well ISUMO can fill that gap, for a lot less money and with the reassurance of continuity moving forward and strength in depth.
Another scenario is where a mid-range engineer leaves. You may not be losing the same knowledge and talent, but you now have an opportunity to replace that single engineer with an ISUMO team at your disposal for the same cost or less cost. This is where ISUMO really starts to stack up for businesses.
We’re providing IT teams with a whole pool of talent and expertise for less money, plus this comes with a host of advanced new technologies for monitoring, security and maintenance over and above what you most probably have today”
What does ISUMO believe are the 3 key areas of focus for organisations right now?
1. Reduce the overall costs of IT.
Spencer explains there are many ways to reduce the overall costs of your IT, and Cloud Services are a big one.
“One of ISUMO’s differentiators is that we charge realistically. If you are using Cloud Services or looking to do so, ISUMO ensures you get the solution you need for a fair price. Elsewhere, you could be charged an absolute fortune for an overly sophisticated environment and 500 options, when you only need 21. It’s this approach that makes us stand out in the market. There are cheaper ways of getting Cloud Services and ISUMO is one of them and we’ll guide and assist as much or as little as needed.”
John suggests another cost-saving solution. “To reduce the overall costs of technology – I would strongly encourage organisations to move away from MPLS and on to SD-WAN.”
Spencer adds, “Review your technology contracts. Look at who is supplying you and with what. What is it achieving and at what is the cost? Now is the time to scrutinise your IT service provision and IT contracts. ISUMO are cost conscious on our client’s behalf. For example – we recently sold a new client £100k worth of hardware, to install in one of our data centres. We know of other suppliers who would have significantly marked up that cost. But not ISUMO. It’s just not what we’re about. Our core business is providing services with added value and cost-effective hardware.
2. Right size your office space.
John explains. “One of our clients recently made the move to serviced offices. They chose to close down an office with space for 200 permanent staff and move to a serviced office with space for 50 staff. With different staff in on different days. The move was partly driven by changes to their ways of working during the last 2 years and partly by rising energy costs. They no longer have to worry about the unpredictable costs of running an independent office.”
Spencer adds, “This drive to hybrid working is driving a technology change. To ‘right-size’ your office space you need a technology solution. This way of working can open the door to cheaper colocation, which frees up office space. If you’re moving from an office where you had a server room, and you’re going into a serviced office, you’re not going to move your server room into your serviced office. You’ll move to a colocation or Cloud service. These are the solutions we’re helping businesses with today.”
John sums up his thoughts, “The cost of living and cost to business crisis is causing businesses to look at cost reduction and flexibility. These are fundamental issues that ISUMO can support. Moving away from assets into managed offices is happening more and more so IT solutions need to be part of that plan. Supplier-locked-in IT contracts such as MPLS are being reviewed and businesses are doing away with expensive IT contracts. It is possible to reduce the cost of IT and improve it at the same time.”
“I’ve seen many businesses that moved to remote working in a hurry during the pandemic, and these solutions are still out there, fit for purpose or not. It’s time to look again at your IT services both for cost and also suitability. We understand that being forced down a route 2 years ago may not have been the best move for your future, but it’s possible to get it right now and make cost savings.”
Spencer, “John sees these situations day in and day out which means our team can relate to what businesses have been through over the last few years and what they are facing now. What we’re helping our clients to achieve is what many businesses are having to do. We hope they speak to us so we can share our experience and knowledge. It’s true, we get job satisfaction getting organisations to where they should be.”
3. Reduce your IT Department running costs.
Spencer says, “There is plenty that should be done more broadly as we’ve discussed, but headcount is an area that organisations should be reviewing. An IT department needs the right talent for today, but as John mentioned earlier, some IT departments are over-skilled or have talent assigned to the wrong areas, and this just isn’t cost-effective or efficient”.
One of our services is the Network Care Plan, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a skilled resource solution, that covers all elements of care across your technology. The ultimate dependable IT team, available 24/7, even on Christmas Day! No recruitment fees. No gaps in staffing continuity. No time wasted in recruiting. Add to that all the latest technology, security and a broad skill set dedicated to supporting your team. The overall impact to your business will not only be cost savings, it will also fundamentally improve your IT function.”
“Our resource solution manages the budgetary questions for businesses. I don’t believe budget squeezes are going to change anytime soon, so it’s time to think about where else can your business make savings that won’t negatively impact your business but would very likely improve performance. Businesses will want to stay competitive and resist putting up costs to customers. CFOs are challenging CEOs to find headcount savings, who in tern are challenging IT departments.”
“We want to get the message out to businesses, there are lots of options within our services and team that can support you. For example, if you’re reshuffling your team or recruiting and looking to fill a mid-range role with a salary budget of £50k, that £50K can buy you a slice of an organisation with all the different talents, and avoid recruitment fees.”
Yes, we’re in a difficult economic climate, where all businesses are analysing costs, but this could be your opportunity to review things and do them better.
John reflects on today’s discussion. “My advice to any organisation on how to respond to the global economic slowdown is to understand what your plans are for the next 6 months, and together let us identify areas where you can find cost savings and we’ll get you there efficiently and effectively.”
Spencer adds, “It would be really interesting to find out what challenges are impacting UK organisations most. We should do a poll!
So that’s what we did.
Look out for our LinkedIn Poll and join in the conversation.
To discuss your individual challenges and to get advice from John and Spencer, call 07967 652650 or email [email protected]