How to Analyze IT Costs
- Posted On October 18, 2020
- Posted By Vu Nguyen
In the 21st century, the healthcare industry is making changes in facilities large and small to maintain their operations at the technological level. With everything from confidential medical data to appointment schedulers being made online, operational costs look a bit different from what they used to in years past.
A growing cost for healthcare organizations across the nation are IT costs as these services are rendered more frequently and essential to daily operations. As these costs start to inflate across the industry, each facility must analyze IT costs to prevent overspending in the future. Below are the different techniques to compare IT costs and analyze what they mean for your facility as you move forward.
1. Identify the Cost Analysis Perspective
The digital realm of your medical facility has most likely become central to your facility. Some of the IT costs that you will be analyzing will be the following:
- Database & Record Management
- Portal Access for Patients/Staff
- Security Protection and Assessment
These services are the most common IT services found in all healthcare facilities currently and are the majority of IT costs found operationally in these facilities. To maintain electronic databases, these services are essential. In addition to these services are the salaries of the IT professionals employed full-time with these organizations.
With IT in healthcare still growing and transitioning in different practices, knowing exactly where that cost lies is essential. First and foremost, determine how much the cost of an IT team in your facility will cost for the different services you need. What operational costs are being used for these services at the weekly, monthly, and annual rates?
2. Compare In-House Staff vs. Outsourced Staff Costs
One of the greatest concerns that come with IT services is the cost comparison that comes with hiring a complete IT team to perform these services, or choosing an IT consulting agency to outsource these services. With an in-house team, you must pay competitive salaries in the industry to maintain employee retention. In addition to salaries, you have to cover the additional cost of software and hardware needed to facilitate these operations.
When you outsource your IT services, you do not have to pay annual salaries. Instead, you do have to pay for each service that you require from the consulting firm in question. You have the option to pay for what you need with access to IT professionals. Depending on what managed IT services you require will depend on how much your monthly IT costs will be. Some facilities find that even with a limited IT team, they still need to outsource some of their services because the equipment cost is too high.
3. Maintenance Costs
Your IT services that you provide in your facility need to be maintained regularly with updates to the security and database. This protects your information and provides you ample space to continue storing this data and operating quickly and efficiently.
- Virus protection
- Software Upgrades
- Server Maintenance
There are certain costs with maintaining malware protection and cloud protection. Updates are constantly being made to different software to protect it against malware and hacking. In the healthcare field, the data you are storing is personal and confidential, which could be difficult if it is not properly maintained. As a small healthcare facility, it could be costly to pay these fees monthly or even annually.
To maintain the proper upgrades to your programs and software, a software developer is essential to your IT staff. Unfortunately, this position is highly competitive and requires a salary that exceeds many of those offered to your healthcare staff. Attempting to have this type of maintenance performed by your in-house IT team will require you to increase your salary budget.
4. Cloud & Server Costs
Purchasing and maintaining a server for your business comes with a list of flexibility options you must consider at the operational level. These servers are stored on the premises of your facility and house your data on-site. Initially, this was a popular option for healthcare facilities at the beginning of electronic data management. In many cases, issues with the servers and clouds come after the standard operational hours. For in-house servers, this means overtime and long hours for an IT team that may or may not have the experience necessary to maintain the issues.
With a cloud, you outsource your data to have additional storage and access to a team of IT professionals. When issues and problems arise with the cloud, your facility does not have to pay an additional salary and overtime. It comes with your monthly fees associated with your consulting firm, and they oversee the issue.
5. Know What Your Facility Needs
Depending on your healthcare facility’s size, it is essential to outline exactly what IT services you need for operation when you are analyzing your IT costs. Since different facilities have different services and functions, they do not always have the same IT needs. List your current IT services that you are paying for and determine if they are essential for the overall operation. This will determine the number of IT positions required in your facility if one is needed at all.
Have You Analyzed Your IT Costs?
Once you have taken the time to analyze your IT costs, you may find that you are overpaying and costing your facility more money by maintaining in-house staff and services. Instead of maintaining a salary or two that is out of your budget, know that you have other options. Choosing an IT consulting agency for these services is often cheaper and a more secure option for independent facilities that are smaller and operating on a reduced budget for costs.
If you would like more information about IT services and how to utilize IT professionals for your facility, one of our representatives at VN Consulting will be happy to assist you with a consultation and determine the IT services you need. Contact us today for more information.