Investing in the latest technology can keep your dental practice competitive, innovative, and in tune with the latest market trends. However, planning a comprehensive IT budget is critical for prioritizing tech investments, spotting underused resources, and identifying maintenance needs.
We outline our six top budgeting tips for quality dental IT below, and how our experts at Pact-One Solutions can help you get the best IT solutions that meet your budget.
Assess your current IT expenses
The first step in IT budgeting is understanding your current expenses. Assess your equipment and calculate its running costs, which may include utilities, maintenance, and repairs. You should also consider the cost of outdated equipment that may need to be replaced.
Then, there are the expenses associated with software like licenses, renewals, and updates. If you find any unused or underutilized software licenses, eliminating them can help you save costs or make room for new, more optimal software investments.
Align IT with your practice’s needs or goals
Tools and equipment aren’t the only areas to consider when budgeting for IT. It’s also important to keep your dental practice’s goals in mind. Are you expanding to a newer, bigger space? Need ways to improve staff productivity? Perhaps your practice is growing, and your current tech won’t cut it in a competitive market. Assessing the current needs of your people and forecasting your practice’s growth is imperative to invest in proper IT resources.
Leverage cloud-based services
Cloud computing has grown in demand for its ability to streamline data access, improve security, and offer flexible working arrangements, all for an affordable monthly subscription fee. Cloud-based storage, for example, provides both you and your employees easy access to patient data, medical records, and other vital information from anywhere, on any connected device. A reliable cloud provider will also ensure that your data is kept safe, monitored, and secure, keeping your practice compliant with HIPAA guidelines and reducing the risk of a data breach.
Consider your IT support model
Once you’ve analyzed your hardware and software needs, your next step is assessing your current IT support model. More specifically, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of either having an in-house support team or outsourcing these services altogether. This will require taking your financial, worker productivity, and project needs into account.
Outsourcing IT support is a popular choice for its ability to help save on company time and additional costs. You needn’t worry about training and retaining in-house employees, handling IT downtime, keeping up with multiple software licenses, and potentially placing additional IT-related tasks on your current team. There are various billing models available for outsourced IT support that can suit your practice’s budget and cash flow, such as per-user, per-device, tiered, and “all-you-can-eat” pricing models.
Plan for security incidents and disasters
Cyberthreats pose great danger to dental practices, which is why a significant portion of your budget should be spent on cybersecurity.
Your practice must invest in preventive security solutions like anti-malware software, firewalls, advanced threat prevention, and email filtering. You’ll also need to implement response strategies in case of a security breach such as data backups, disaster recovery plans, and access management software. In addition to these technical security measures, security awareness training is absolutely essential to minimize the risk of a data breach due to human error.
Consult with a managed IT services provider (MSP)
Finally, your dental practice may benefit from working with an MSP. MSPs are companies that handle all your tech-related needs, from IT consulting to support and planning. They also have a team of experts on hand to help with specific areas of IT, including cloud computing, VoIP, cybersecurity, and data backups.
By partnering with an MSP, you can stick to your IT budget by eliminating sunk costs such as additional staff training, salaries, and office upkeep. Most MSPs even offer predictable and scalable price options, helping you avoid surprise costs and ensuring you only pay for what you need.
Boost your dental tech with our managed IT services today!
The right technology can lead to a more productive, reliable, and competitive dental practice. With experience serving clients across the West and Southwest states since 2003, Pact-One holds the IT management and support solutions you need to upgrade your practice. Invest in quality IT today — get in touch with our experts.
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