Application and Data Hosting
The costs of purchasing and maintaining servers to run business applications and store data are normally the most expensive part of any IT network. For many years at The HBP Group we have closely monitored the value of on-premise severs vs cloud hosted services, such as Microsoft Azure, and when looking purely on price, on-premise would win every time.
However, this is now changing, and it is becoming more common that we will recommend a cloud hosted solutions over on-premise for many businesses.
Not only are there huge benefits of using cloud based services but much more cost-effective solutions have become available, such as our own Data Centre which is around two thirds of the cost of Microsoft Azure and many other well-known hosting providers.
When the total of costs of buying, installing, supporting and maintaining (including costs such as air-conditioning and electricity) are taken into account, an on-premise sever rarely wins the cost battle against our own data centre pricing. When the cost elements is removed and the decision is based purely on technology, cloud hosted servers provide an excellent fit for a huge range of businesses who may have never considered them before.
Typically, we see the point in which cloud-hosted servers become the most cost efficient solution is after around 5 years when, typically, a business would replace on-premise servers and have the additional costs of a new server installation.
Your Business Software
As we’ve explained earlier in this article, cost savings related to your key business software (such as accounting software, CRM software, production software etc.) can often come from the server expenses related to it, but that isn’t the whole picture.
The cost savings from software can come in two forms:
- Have you added additional software in your business to fill functionality gaps?
- Have you created manual workarounds to carry out tasks within your business to fill functionality gaps?
The solution to the first issue is often a collection of cloud based (or SaaS) software solutions such as HR or payroll software. If this estate of additional software grows then the monthly costs can start to spiral out of control. Not only that, you end up with multiple sets of data in different packages, multiple logins for users and, ultimately, another data security risk within you business which may cause you yet more expense.
The second problem has no impact on your actual costs, with most businesses finding workarounds using Excel for reporting or tracking purposes where they can’t see an easy solution in their software (something we call “Excel Creep”). The cost of this problem comes from a lack of efficiency and a lack of data available to make sensible decisions about your business.
Whether you have issues with the first or second problem (or maybe a bit of both), it’s worth asking yourself if your software is working hard enough for you.
If you’re in any doubt, then we can perform a completely free review of your processes and recommend the best solution for you. Although this solution may not be a single piece of software, it could drastically reduce the amount of software packages you need, dramatically increase efficiency by removing manual processes and give you a much better picture of how your business is performing.
It’s hard to put a value on what this can do for a business, but we’ve seen more than enough examples to know that it can be significant!
Although IT may seem like a necessary evil to some businesses, with the right decisions and by leveraging the right technology there are definitely savings to be made.
Some of those savings could be instant (phone systems), long term (cloud servers) or a little less tangible (your business software), but overall they can all impact your IT costs and the efficiency of your organisation.