Maximizing efficiency and lowering costs are top priorities for any businesses, but these goals take on new importance in a turbulent economy. That’s why it's a great time to review your tools, and make sure the wrong tech isn't causing you to misspend thousands of dollars.
A tech stack audit can help you figure out which platforms are making a return on your investment, and which ones you can probably do without. It can also be a great cost saving exercise, and help you to redistribute your budget.
Here, we’ll explore some simple steps you can take to check your tech stack and make sure your costs are necessary.
1. Have a clear strategy
Step one: open up your spreadsheet and make a plan.
It sounds simple, but having a document that itemizes your income and expenses is the first step to ensuring that your budget is working as hard as possible for your business.
When you have a good understanding of your outgoings, you can make decisions for your business with proper context, and easily loop in other teams and shareholders when you need to.
2. Consider your existing tech stack
Okay, you’ve worked out how much cash you have available, so it’s time to do an audit of what you’re paying for.
While technology can be one of the best assets a business has, we’ve all had an unused app subscription that’s gone under the radar for months before we cancel it. Well, it’s time to put a stop to that.
Use your budget spreadsheet to look at what you’re paying for and consider what you’re getting in return. Is it giving you ROI? Does it still integrate with the software you use? Are you using it efficiently (or at all)?
By thinking carefully about how your tech stack is working for your business, you can make sure you only invest in tools that are genuinely useful and will help you progress.
3. Shop around
Of course, there will be some tools and software that your business needs. The question to ask yourself now is are you getting the best deal on the market?
Let’s take a completely random example like conversation intelligence (CI) platforms 👀. Many businesses use CI to gain insights into their sales calls and drive more wins, but they could be losing time and money if they’re using software that doesn’t align with their needs, especially because there are huge price discrepancies across different brands.
For each tool you use, we’d encourage you to consider a range of competitors, looking at their price point, reviews, the functionality they offer and, crucially, the set-up and ongoing customer support available. That way you can choose the right solution for you.
4. Have conversations with key stakeholders
The ultimate goal here is to have no wasted tech, time or money. With that in mind, there are a couple of groups you should involve in your decision making.
Firstly, check in with your teams and ask them to share honest feedback on the tools they are using. If platforms aren’t being used day-to-day, or they’re causing more problems, then it’s time to cut ties.
Secondly, it’s always good to stay in contact with your suppliers and sales reps. If you’re having issues with their tech, they might be able to help or provide training. And, if you’re trying to keep costs down, you never know what deals and discounts they might have up their sleeves.
5. Review again (and again)
Remember that spreadsheet you started in step one? Make sure that you review it regularly (we’d recommend at least once a month).
By treating your spreadsheet as a working document, you can easily do cost analysis, and make sure that you never pay for a tool you don’t need. Each time you consider your tech stack, you should ask if these tools still help you to achieve your organizational goals, and evaluate the value they provide.
Plus, as your business grows and changes, you’ll have different tech needs, so it's important to stay on top of what tech you’re using. While some software will be adaptable and grow with you, you may need to upgrade or cancel others.