The current sluggish economic climate means that many companies have to be more careful about their spending. While information technology is a necessary cost of doing business, it is still critical for today’s companies to save money on their IT & AV expenditures so that they can do more with their budget. One of the most effective ways of using technology to save money and increase efficiency is through standardization. Standardization can provide organizations with several key benefits, including a reduction in IT/AV downtime, support and lowered training costs for new users.
Reduced Training Costs
Training is a big factor in IT/AV costs. Consider the case of the Arlington Science Focus Elementary School, located in Arlington, VA near the nation’s capital. Charles W. Harvey III, the senior instructional technology coordinator for the school, told EdTech magazine recently that using the same computer hardware, presentation tools, and applications in all 30 of the school’s classrooms has given teachers and students the ability to move between classrooms and grade levels seamlessly, without wasting time and money on complicated training systems. Harvey went on to say that he never has to worry about re-teaching basic concepts on different types of hardware and software and can instead focus on advanced concepts to make learning easier for students.
Lowered IT Support Costs
Another major benefit of standardization is that you can reduce the amount of support costs that your organization faces when it comes to keeping your network systems up and running. If you streamline your technology by purchasing hardware from a single vendor, for example, you will only have to deal with one particular support department and one set of patches or fixes.
One of the big concerns of professionals interested in using technology to save money and increase efficiency is the upfront cost of buying technology from the same place. Critics may point out that it would be cheaper for businesses to shop around and buy each component of their network from a different source so that they can get the best price on their overall network. This argument does hold some weight, but Dana Norton at TechRepublic says that while you may not save money at the point of purchase when you buy from a single manufacturer, having a standardized hardware policy could be beneficial in the long-term when your upgrades and maintenance costs are less expensive. You also will not have to hire as many different IT support specialists when you standardize your technology, which is important whether you are bringing on internal staff or outsourcing your IT requirements.
Decisions about your technology should not be made lightly. Your company’s network is what allows you to communicate, collaborate and get important tasks completed. Standardizing your IT/AV systems is an excellent method of using technology to save money and increase efficiency for your business. The key is deciding which particular provider you will trust with your IT/AV requirements: be sure to do your research so that you can find an IT/AV specialist that can be counted upon to help you with your network requirements.
About Jeff Miller
Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org