Stretching information technology (IT) budgets are an ongoing challenge for many medical offices today. In theory, your practice should first determine what IT you need to meet your business objectives, and then budget accordingly. However, because technology is constantly changing, many practices would like to stay ahead of the trends to improve their business operations. But there’s a way to stay current and relevant while stretching those precious IT dollars.
Understand your expenditures
Before you begin to slash away at your IT budget, Bob Merrill, IT strategy expert at PA Consulting Group, says to make sure that your practice understands what you are actually spending on IT. You can do that by simply listing each line item/category, and including IT-like expenditures, which may include items such as phone systems, mobile phones and associated services, voice and data networks, copiers, fax machines, printer/copier/fax supplies, maintenance agreements, as well as allocation of floor-space and associated rent for computer rooms.
“Many of these expenditure categories are considered office expense, even though they duplicate capabilities available through IT technology,” he points out. “Sort the categories from highest annual expenditures to least, and focus on the costliest expenditures first when looking for opportunities for reduction.”
Donovan Niesen, co-founder of The Tech Outfit in Minneapolis, MN, says to begin with your biggest IT expenditures and work your way down.
“When evaluating ways to reduce your IT spending, it is absolutely critical to do a proper risk assessment to understand any pitfalls that can arise from changes made,” he cautions. [Read more…]