As your business grows, your processes and requirements change over time. You’ve likely outgrown or expanded the technology you utilized only a few years ago. For many organizations, this kind of growth can lead to multiple technology platforms, software, licensing fees, and support requirements. Evaluating your technology on a systematic basis can help enhance productivity, reduce costs, and streamline operations. Let’s explore the ROI of consolidating technology.
As a business evolves their technology over time, the costs can also creep, unknowingly and unchecked. Consider one small piece of the puzzle – namely, file sharing. One user or department may utilize Dropbox to share files, another user may use OneDrive, and still another user utilizes WeTransfer. Each of these software solutions work for that particular user’s needs, but one platform would be easier to manage, support, and protect data. It may also lead to other issues, long term, such as:
- Which file or data set is the most current?
- Unauthorized access to data or confidential information
- Multiple platforms to share data and multiple touches or massing of data
- Paying multiple user licenses vs. bundling pricing
This one piece of the puzzle can also create more complex problems for audit trails, compliance, overhead costs, and even tech support.
Technology Costs & ROI
When a new technology is rolled out, there may be relatively low costs to implement, but it’s important to understand how these costs can escalate over time. Consider, for example, services like AWS. While the service model is certainly scalable, the costs of these services is somewhat unpredictable for long term costs and budgeting purposes. For example, there may be a low cost for spot instances, but additional costs for reserved or on-demand instances. File storage, network resources, and other usage can increase costs dramatically during peak demand or higher usage levels. These costs may escalate quickly and without warning.
One example is data sharing. Let’s say your sale team enters data into a CRM system. The data is exported from the CRM to Excel to evaluate trends and create monthly reports. Once that data has been massaged, it’s now uploaded and downloaded again to the Purchasing department’s platform for inventory and supply chain management. The Accounting department then downloads their own set of data and converts it to their platform for billing and financial projections, and so on. There is a real cost to handling and converting the data multiple times, across platforms. The ROI of consolidating these technologies may far outweigh the cost when considering:
- How do these platforms integrate and what is the number of times that each data set has to be manipulated?
- Is there a better solution that can accomplish the same goals?
- What are the associated costs with licensing, storage, and updates for each different type of software?
- What are the costs for network or data storage and retrieval? How do these costs impact profitability during peak demand?
- Could costs be lowered with fewer platforms?
- Would fewer platforms enhance efficiency?
- Are there newer options and resources that can help you consolidate your data, provide fewer touches, and lower costs?
- How does the cost of IT support play into these factors?
- Is the support U.S. based or delegated to different time zones and native languages?
Consolidating technologies requires a holistic approach. This kind of approach considers user requirements, the cost of software licensing, updates, tech support, network resources, and the impact on business processes and operations. Most importantly new technology should enhance productivity and revenue growth. This is where a valued technology advisor can be an invaluable resource.
If you’re interested in assessing your current technology for consolidation benefits, talk to the specialists at Conscious Networks. We can help you determine if the ‘latest and greatest technology’ makes the most sense for your business.