Running a business is exciting. Building a team, creating a vision, and pursuing your passion. It can also be challenging, with lots of uncertainties. Possible economic downturns, industry disruption, and pressure from competitors. When you look at the unknowns, your natural reflex may be to cut technology costs. You could easily think: if we make less, we should spend less. Right? Actually, not so right.
It might seem counterintuitive, but investing in IT is one of the most effective cost control measures you can take for your business. Here are three reasons.
Keep your best employees
According to some estimates, the average business spends $4,000 to recruit, hire, and train a new employee. For any business, that can be a tough pill to swallow. The increased expenses and lost productivity can have an immediate financial impact.
What does this have to do with your investments in IT? According to a 2014 survey by FlexJobs, 20 percent of job seekers said they would take a pay cut for more flexible work options. When your employees have more options and better work-life balance, they’re happier. For today’s workforce, flexibility means working from home (or a plane, train or automobile) with access to all of the information and apps that are available at the office—something cloud productivity solutions like Office 365 provide. Equipping your employees with the latest technology, from Office 365 to Windows 10 devices, doesn’t have to break the bank. It will help your teams be more productive and help you keep your staff, limiting the costs of employee turnover.
Have you ever started the New Year with a resolution to stick to a tighter household budget? You track your spending, pack a lunch every day, and spend a few more Friday nights at home with a movie instead of going out. Things are going great for a few months and then, out of nowhere, your furnace goes out. You feel sick when you write that check for the new furnace, but you feel even worse when you find out that it could have been avoided with proper maintenance.
When you’re looking to cut costs, the worst expenses are those you don’t anticipate. Major, unexpected expenses are, at best, discouraging. And they can be momentum killers for a business. Cyber-crime is, unfortunately, a predictable event. Why take a chance when it comes to IT security? 60 percent of cyber-attacks target small and midsize businesses. Many never recover. For those that do, it’s expensive. The average cyber-attack on a small to midsize business costs $410,000. Moving critical business data from outdated physical servers to the cloud can help mitigate the threat of a data breach. With Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, you have up-to-date anti-malware protection and data backup, built right in. You save when you get enterprise-grade security without having to purchase security software.
Pay only for what you use
In many industries, there are natural business fluctuations. Whether it’s the accounting firm that works long hours during tax season or the retailer that adds extra staff before the holidays, most business owners expect to see peaks and valleys over the course of the year. Microsoft Azure allows you to ramp up or down your cloud applications on demand. And with Office 365, you pay for a subscription based on the number of users you have. This means you pay for what you use. For instance, instead of paying all year for the extra capacity they need during tax season, the accounting firm can grow its storage to fit the big files they’re working on right when they need to. The retail store can add users to Office 365 in real-time, for example, so new staff can enter orders immediately. When seasonal workers leave the company, the store can quickly remove those additional subscriptions. You can control costs without hampering your ability to respond to change.
Additionally, many cloud services, such as Office 365, offer the added financial benefits of subscription pricing that eliminates or minimizes upfront spending. This is why, according to Forrester, the cost to implement Office 365 was 45 percent lower than on-premises solutions.
Wrapping it up
These are just a few ways that businesses can control costs through technology, without sacrificing productivity, efficiency, or security. Want to learn more about how you can get the most out of your technology investments? Explore more: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/business/