cost management

Cost Savings from Running Your Medical Practice Management Software in the Cloud

Cost Savings from Running Your Medical Practice Management Software in the Cloud 1200 651 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Comparing the costs of on-premise infrastructure to cloud infrastructure is not as simple as comparing apples to apples.

If you’re thinking about migrating your medical practice to the cloud, there are a number of variables to take into consideration. Evaluating your options for the better value means weighing the pros and cons of each, as well as extensively calculating your total cost of ownership (TCO).

How Does Cloud Hosting Save You Money?

All of the articles on cloud hosting services will talk about how switching to the cloud will save you and your business money. However, with technical considerations like third-party software for printing and scanning, enterprise storage and even an upgraded internet connection, it seems as if you’ll incur more costs than you initially thought.

So, where are the real cost savings in this new wave of cloud computing?

No Initial Investments or Extra Set Up Costs

Transitioning from an in-house network of computers to the cloud doesn’t require any upfront costs or investments. The cloud serviced provider takes care of the infrastructure and set up for a fixed cost.

When you have an in-house network, you have individual computers with individual hard drives. These need to be maintained separately because they are not all sharing a unified server. This means that you will be charged per computer set up and configuration.

You’ll find that your savings come from a one-stop-shop type of set up. Your service provider only has to set up one unified server for your entire business. That means one installation and configuration—one time. One cost.

Full Hardware Utilization

In the cloud, all of your employees will be working on a shared server infrastructure. This ensures that all your hardware resources are engaged to optimize your cloud computing efficiency.

This proves as economical, since you’re only using one shared server and not multiple servers that may store unnecessary information. You have the advantage of setting preferences for your storage needs so that your cloud server utilizes its capacity properly.

In other words, you won’t have to waste money continuously scaling your storage. Cloud storage only automatically saves what you set it up to save.

Less Power Consumption

Since cloud storage fully utilizes its hardware resources, it consumes less power. “Full utilization” may sound as if it means more consumption, however, it means that the infrastructure’s power is used more efficiently.

Computing tasks can consume a lot of power, making individual servers run slower depending on the workload. This increases your bottom line when you have to pay more for less in terms of performance.

A Reduced Work Force Expense

With cloud hosting and computing, you won’t have to rely on an internal or external IT company for maintenance. Your third-party service provider will take care of any infrastructure issues that may arise as part of your contract.

This means you’ll save on employee or contractor salaries as well as benefits. Not to mention the cost of external IT fees per computer or device.

Built-in Redundancy

In the event of a power outage or emergency, your system may crash. To prevent this, you’ll have to purchase extra hardware to ensure that your individual servers will still run. This ends up costing more in maintenance over time.

With cloud hosting, you won’t have to worry about needing extra hardware for redundancy. Cloud servers may spread out through multiple data centres to replicate your data. This creates resiliency, so in the event of a disaster, your systems will be up and running.

The Costs of Managing On-Premise Servers

When we talk about on-premise infrastructure (or, on-prem for short), we’re talking about the physical server at your location. This server is also managed and maintained individually by you.

The costs of managing on-prem servers requires a considerably large upfront capital investment. The initial investment covers the hardware and installation, but there are also continuous support and maintenance expenses to consider.

In terms of your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), you have to take into consideration both Capital Expenditure (CapEx) and Operating Expenses (OpEx), as well as your security.

Your Capital Expenditures

As mentioned above, managing on-premise servers means having the infrastructure at your location. This factors into being a fixed asset, like your office building, work vehicles, equipment, and the maintenance required overall.

With an on-prem infrastructure, you also have to take into consideration the cost for your servers, power systems, storage, hardware, software, and licensing—as well as the installations, upgrades and maintenance.

A large capital expenditure can place a strain on your organization’s finances, which could end up taking away from more critical initiatives.

You also have to replace this hardware every 3 to 5 years.

Your Operating Expenses:

Many people will put their OpEx in the cloud category, however any ongoing costs to running a business or organization falls under this category..

Any items that are accounted and paid for monthly are your operating expenses, which is why most people find migrating to the cloud a much more cost-effective option since there is a small overhead.

While the cloud won’t eliminate certain costs like hardware, software, support staff, etc., it will still reduce them substantially.

Security:

The pros and cons of on-prem vs cloud security tend to weight the same.

Your on-prem security will be limited to your enterprise licensing and any other security measures you decide to take at cost. Your security isn’t automated, and so your organization is solely responsible.

Cloud security continues to evolve with dynamic resources, but can still be risky due to ephemeral security boundaries. However, cloud security is shared security. That means that the security responsibility is shared among your organization and your cloud service provider.

Security is something that is often overlooked, but can be costly when left vulnerable in either case.

Migration has its Advantages

Migrating to the cloud isn’t just about saving money. It’s also about the efficiency and all of the benefits from a remote infrastructure.

If you’re thinking about migrating your medical practice to the cloud, the IT experts at Greenlight ITC can answer all of your questions.

Cost Control Management

7 Cost Management Tips Using Technology

7 Cost Management Tips Using Technology 1000 668 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Because it is at the heart of every business, we have compiled some cost management tips your business use to save money.

Did you know that roughly half of Australian businesses that started in 2007-8 were no longer operating just four years later?

This data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows just how perilous the Australian small business landscape can be. It is for this reason that effective cost management is so important.

1. Reduce paper use

With so many alternatives to sharing information, reducing paper use can be one of the easiest ways to not only save money on technology, but also to reap efficiency gains.

Share your documents on shared network drives (hosted on a private or hosted server) to allow your employees to access and share documents easily.

Another option is in the cloud– cloud technology has vastly improved over the past few years, and is now a secure and extremely flexible approach to sharing documents both internally and with partners and clients.

2. Protect your data

The cost of data loss can be unfathomable. According to Acronis’ Global Disaster Recovery Index 2012, 33% of Australian small and medium businesses were not employing means of data redundancy. The cost of environmental disasters alone tallied average financial losses of US$366,363 a year, causing close to 80% of businesses impacted to fail in the following year.

Add to this the costs of spammers, hackers and other illegal digital intrusions, and the importance of data security and data redundancy is plain to see. We strongly recommend that someone be assigned responsibility for backups, firewalls, anti-spyware and keeping your security software up to date. It could just save your business. If you are unsure whether your data is at risk, we are happy to provide an obligation free assessment.

3. Advertise online

Whether you have an internal marketing department or outsource it to one of the (many) agencies out there, there are many compelling reasons to choose online over traditional advertising. One of the key features of online advertising is that there is a wealth of data available, with real accountability placed on agencies to deliver results.
Great agencies will be able to deliver reports that outline the Return On Investment (ROI) of any given marketing budget. Compare this with the costs and uncertainty in advertising in newspapers, magazines or even television and radio– sure, you may get an influx of business for a few days, but how can you measure whether it was worth the expenditure?

Be careful who you partner with. Look for guarantees and testimonials, and ask to see proof of prior work. The best way to select a great agency to help you with online advertising is through word of mouth or checking the list of Google Partners. Google tend to only work with competent and proven agencies, so your time and money are more secure.

4. Forget the landline

Landlines account for significant costs to small businesses every year, and are one of the easiest cost management tips using technology. Being able to communicate is crucial in reaching out to your suppliers, customers and prospects. Landlines are, however, extremely inefficient in both cost and flexibility when compared to VoIP solutions.

Most businesses who move to a hosted voice solution see cost savings of between 30-50%  over traditional phone costs. There are many perks to hosted voice, but the most popular ones are the ability to easily integrate phones with CRM systems and only pay for features and phones that you actually need. We have listed the other benefits of hosted voice here on our service page.

5. Buying refurbished equipment

When equipping your workforce or office, buying refurbished items is a great approach to cost management. The perception seems to be that refurbished items are low quality or a risky investment, but in the majority of cases this simply is not the case. Manufacturers often offer refurbished desks, chairs and white boards that are usually in near pristine condition. Do you really need that shiny look that only lasts a few weeks anyway?

In terms of computing hardware, refurbished can be a liability given the business critical nature of laptops and computers– and servers are definitely a big no in terms of purchasing refurbished equipment. However, one significant opportunity to reduce computing hardware costs is to move application hosting to the cloud, in which case hardware normally considered as ‘old’ will simply act as a terminal, with all the resources being provided by high end computers in the cloud. See the next point for more on this.

6. Reduce capital expenditures

Depending on your business, technology infrastructure costs can rapidly end up impacting your cashflow. The costs associated with server hardware, licensing, labour, monthly maintenance and upgrades can easily begin to add up.

As an example, if your business software requires a local dedicated server, cloud application hosting solutions such as inCloud Application Hosting can save businesses up to $12,408 over 3 years. That is money that could be spent on marketing or sales, helping to grow your business. If you were to invest that money into advertising online (as seen in Point 3) that money would go a long way in terms of adding to your bottom line.

Other options exist of course, such as seeking equipment financing to better manage your cashflow, or cloud infrastructure. Cloud infrastructure allows you to leverage high-end hardware stored in secure data centers rather than manage it all in-house, with a variety of options based on your individual needs.

7. Accounting Software

There are few business decisions more important than investing in a good accountant. This is one of the key areas you will be thankful for later in your business, as managing your accounts can be a nightmare for any business owner. Furthermore, there is often a wide range of ways to offset expenses in order to keep the money you and your business work so hard to earn.

Accounting software can  be expensive, and income and expenses can be hard to track. Luckily there are a number of cloud based solutions designed for small businesses that are cost-effective and very user friendly. Some public cloud software we recommend (and have no association with) include Saasu, Xero, and Freshbooks. If you are hesitant in storing your business details with one of these smaller players, you can always refer to our earlier point on application hosting and store your MYOB software on a secure private server. Your accountant will thank you for it.