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Business Cost Cutting Ideas That May Surprise You

28 Jul 2020 by Natalie Frith

A calculator and financial spreadsheet, representing the notion of business cost cutting ideas.

There’s much uncertainty in the world right now, and leadership teams across the globe are grappling with business cost cutting ideas to offset profitability losses. This article explores surprising ways in which technology upgrades can save you money, paving the way for healthier financial forecasts.

A technology upgrade is unlikely to be your first thought when it comes to business cost cutting ideas, but in some cases, upgrades can offer immediate savings, streamline operations, and provide much-needed efficiencies.

Most business leaders won’t have a strong understanding of the nuts and bolts of IT operations (out of sight, out of mind), but aging platforms can impose a financial stranglehold on your organization. Since tech evolves faster than any other market sector, it’s vital to regularly review your firm’s spend on software and services with your IT team, Managed Service Provider, or other trusted advisor.

Cloud Cost Efficiencies

If you’ve conducted any research on the subject prior to reading this post, you’ve undoubtedly read about the various wonders of cloud computing in virtually every article on how to reduce business costs.

A brilliant means to slashing capital costs and IT expense, cloud computing removes the need for servers and related self-hosting equipment, as well as the maintenance costs associated with upgrading and repairing hardware. Your cloud provider houses the hardware infrastructure at a data center. They also bear the responsibility of data recovery issues, meaning you don’t need to maintain overly complicated disaster recovery plans.

With the cloud, you’ll always have access to the latest application upgrades. You’ll also have the ability to scale up on-demand, whether for licenses, or to increase data storage. Additionally, the cloud is highly flexible and increases user access and collaboration, with the ability to access applications remotely on personal devices – enabling a remote workforce.

When we talk about ‘the cloud’ at Quadrotech, we invariably mean Microsoft Office 365 – the world’s most widely-used cloud service for enterprise organizations. If you’re not already there, our market-leading Office 365 migration services can get you there fast.

If you are already there, our hands-on research suggests you’re probably wasting huge money on unused licenses, and you really should pay immediate attention to this.

O365 License Management Lessons

If you don’t regularly audit or track your Office 365 license usage, now is the time to start. You need to identify who has access to what type of license to ensure licenses aren’t being over-purchased or underutilized. In many cases, staff are assigned the more costly E3 or E5 licenses across the board, but granular reporting may find that huge scores of users are only utilizing a few of the workloads, which means they can be downgraded to a less costly package.

You also want to ensure that your company is not over-purchasing or pooling licenses. This is an old-fashioned strategy associated with on-premises systems, which is largely dying out as organizations make the move to the cloud. IT departments no longer need to over-purchase to make sure there’s enough to go around; when you move to a cloud-based service like Office 365, your ability to scale up or down as licenses are needed is relatively easy – you can simply turn them on or off.

You might be surprised to hear that trimming the fat around excess or underutilized licenses can save your business five or six figures, depending on your licenses and number of users. When we analyzed 1.32M Office 365 users on standard E3 licensing, we found that 15% of licenses were completely unused. This could equate to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted expense.

Infographic showing Office 365 license wastage. Getting on top of this is a great business cost cutting idea that could really pay off.

Natively managing licenses within O365 is not straightforward, but our Office 365 license management solution can provide immediate insights into your estate, allowing you to see where cost savings can be made, equipping you with all the information you need to either downgrade or cancel licenses when it comes to renewal negotiations with Microsoft.

Additionally, tracking usage – or lack thereof – allows you to pinpoint areas where you need to drive adoption to ensure staff are benefitting from the services you’re paying for, and the productivity and collaboration opportunities available.

Legacy Business Cost Cutting Ideas

Another necessary upgrade that will reduce long-term costs is to replace any legacy platforms, such as on-premise Enterprise Vault for archive data. If your company uses EV for email archives (which are stored in line with compliance regulations), the time will inevitably come when your data storage will run out and you’ll need to either pay more for increased storage, or make the move to the cloud.

Paying for a storage upgrade may seem like the easiest, least painful option at the time, but it is a short-term fix and a long-term financial burden. Making the decision to migrate Enterprise Vault to Office 365 can end up saving your organization huge money in the long run, as Microsoft’s cloud is future-proof technology with superior scalability.

Additionally, bringing your data ‘home’ to Microsoft ensures enhanced eDiscovery capabilities, freeing IT admins from the burden of finding data upon request, as compliance teams can search for it directly in the cloud.

The decision not to upgrade or replace a legacy system can have devastating long-term consequences that leave an organization trapped with costly, antiquated systems that will eventually cease to function properly.

On a related note, many organizations have recently come unstuck with PST files stored locally on network computers, which aren’t accessible remotely. If your users still rely on this outdated means of data storage, business operations can be severely impacted, as discussed in our webinar: Remote Work and Problems with PST Files.

Having remote teams unable to access critical data could be costing you a small fortune in lost productivity, so getting to grips with PSTs should be a priority.

Keeping the lights on, so to speak, doesn’t always mean you have to resort to extreme measures and begin downsizing. With the ideas outlined above, you can find the immediate and long-term savings your business needs to survive today and thrive tomorrow.

If your organization could benefit from the operational and financial efficiencies discussed in this article, please contact us today to discuss your migration requirements or to learn more about our advanced Office 365 management software.