Start-ups are being urged to conduct an IT audit over the Christmas downtime to ensure their systems are up to scratch for 2011.
Maria Padisetti, chief executive of IT specialists Digital Armour, says the end of the year is the ideal time to conduct an audit, review strategic planning and document system processes for more effective, productive and cost-effective operations in the New Year.
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“Planning and proactive management and support can reduce IT and telecommunication costs anywhere from 20% to 45%,” she says.
“That can make a big impact not only to a business’ bottom line and productivity, but also to its ability to be competitive in its industry.”
Padisetti says start-ups should be even more vigilant in this regard, stating: “If you’re a start-up, you want to be more efficient than your competitors, who more than likely will be larger than you.”
With regard to reducing IT costs, she advises businesses to purchase new equipment during the downtime when discount rates are more common.
“People like Dell and HP have Christmas specials, so we always tell our clients – particularly if they’re a smaller business – to have a look at the Christmas specials that come through,” she says.
“The other area we generally look at is business processes. How can you do things better? For example, look at the IT provider you’re using. Are they billing you by the hour? Are they looking after you? Are you getting the best value for money?”
Padisetti says it’s also important for start-ups to review their costs because they’re more likely to change.
“If a start-up goes from five people to 10 people in a year, what they were paying for five people they could probably get at a discount for 10 people,” she says.
“Things will generally blow out of proportion if you’re not managing your costs. Particularly with IT, a lot of people don’t seem to know what they’re spending.”
She also advises start-ups to recruit an expert to offer a “fresh pair of eyes” with regard to reviewing business processes.