How to beat IT & Software price increases in 2017
In the final months of 2017 several major IT and software vendors have announced price hikes that will affect the vast majority of businesses in the UK. Some of these increases are significant and without some thought will dramatically impact IT and software budgets in 2017 and beyond.
Microsoft have announced that prices will be going up across their product range from January 1st 2017 between 13% and 22%, HP have also increased prices by around 10% and both Sage (5% increase) and Pegasus (11% increase) have issued notices about price increases in 2017. These are just a handful of companies who have announced changes and it would be naïve of anyone to expect that other IT and software vendors won’t follow.
At HBP Systems Ltd we strive to advise businesses on getting the most from their business systems and have looked at five different options we believe businesses have which challenged with these additional costs:
1) Order Now
With price increases inevitable the only real way to beat them is to order your software and IT before the prices go up. So if you already discussing a new IT system, looking at new software licences or about to start a new software project, get it ordered as soon as possible.
If you’re concerned about making a large investment now, consider subscription pricing or leasing options which will enable you to spread your costs over a longer period of time whilst still beating the price increases.
2) Plan Your Spend
Making a long term IT and software plan is something we strongly advise businesses to do. It not only helps to manage and spread costs over a period of time, but also enables you to look at the upcoming changes within your business that may affect your systems.
In general, a server has a life span of around 5 -7 years and a business software package of around 7 – 10 years, however desktop PCs, laptops and tablets last closer to the 2-year mark, so it’s important to have a good understanding of your requirements as well as the investments you’ll need to make, especially with the price increases which have been announced.
3) Utilise Your Investment
If you don’t plan to change your system now and haven’t thought about the future, then you need at the very least look at the system you have in place right now and get the most from it. The chances are that your accounting system can provide you with more information that you’re getting already, which should enable you to make better decisions about your business and ultimately make you more profitable.
From an IT perspective, solutions such as Office365 have a huge amount of functionality available to users which is often ignored. For example, Skype for Business can be used to cut the costs of remote business meetings by leveraging the power of video conferencing which has been proven to make remote meetings more efficient compared to standard conference calls.
4) Review The Way You Work
It’s never a bad idea to look at the way you use IT and although we believe it should be part of a constant review process, these price hikes give everyone the perfect excuse to do it right now.
By looking at strategies such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) you could reduce the expenditure you have on devices and with Cloud solutions your infrastructure costs could reduce or become more flexible as your business grows and changes.
Although there may be some initial investment to change the way you work, you’ll be investing in the long term stability of your business, in terms of both technology and your expenditure.
5) Do Nothing
Unfortunately, this option is the one that far too many businesses will choose. The price increases cannot be avoided unless you decide to order early or drastically cut back on your investment in IT and software – and this will only harm the productivity and efficiency of your business.
If you decide to swallow the costs then you will, at the very least, need to budget for an increase of around 15-20% on your overall IT budget.
If you would like to discuss any of the options suggested in this article, then please contact us and we’ll be happy to arrange a meeting with one of our IT and software consultants.