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How to Avoid Wasteful IT Bills [opinion]

We all use technology in our lives today. As we find the new ways in which technology enhances our lives and businesses, it is with more ease that we accumulate multiple types of physical devices that we use to access these technologies.

Almost every 12 months, technology makers release new versions of products. The expectation is that the newer technology will have enhanced features, better experience and productivity for the users. This means that users keep buying new technologies without even evaluating if they really need them.

This move has led to many of us with a fair number of unused devices lying around at home or at work. This includes televisions, radios, mobile phones, ovens, etc. This can be avoided. Here are ways to avoid this situation.

Understand the role of technology:

As you set up the business, identify the role of technology in the organisation. Getting this right allows you to align technology to the business goals and consequently plan for the right technology.

Understand the size of your organisation and its growth patterns

Let’s consider the number of employees in the organisation as an indication of its size. In this case, an organisation with less than 10 users is micro, 50 users is small, 250 users is medium and 500 and more largeenterprise.

Using this classification, we should be able to size, procure and implement only technologies that fit the number of people we have in the organisation. Most, if not all, technologies in the market come with a rating for the capacity of users it is able to support. Some manufacturers will make technologies for a specific business size.

When planning for the purchase of technology, it would be important to understand the growth of the company within a stipulated period, say five years. If, for example, your organisation currently has 50 people but the growth plans are to reach a user number of 100 in 12 months, it’s better to procure technology that can support at least 110 users today.

This will allow you to expand the number of users but still maintain your technology for the cycle of its life.

Work closely with your vendors:

Vendors are a very important part of your organisation. The relationship between vendors and your organisation should be that of partners. The vendor should be able to understand your business.

You should also select vendors who are authorized dealers of the technology that you buy. Some vendors are sole resellers of only one product while others would be resellers of multiple products.

The aantage of working with authorised product dealers is that they are able to extend warranties to you, allowing you to replace defective technologies at minimal or no cost. Some product manufactures also have buyback programmes where you can return old technology for newer versions at cheaper prices.

Carefully plan the lifecycle of technology:

As you use technology, it’s important to define how long you will use particular technology before you deem it obsolete for your organisation. There is no fixed period for which you should use your technology. However, a few guiding principles can be used to assess the functionality and efficiency of technology over time within the organization.

The disposal process of old technology needs to be managed effectively for the organisation to benefit from it. You can choose to reduce the cost of obtaining new technology by selling off the old technology.

The writer works for Thought Works Uganda, a software company.

Source : The Observer

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