Why you can’t just go with a solo guy that helped your husband’s company last week.
Just like that old story about the man that was too busy shoveling snow that he had no time to use the snow blower, having the wrong IT Support—inadequate or under-qualified—is constantly costing businesses much more than simply their costs for the IT guy. Recently I had been talking to a couple of prospective clients that really wanted enterprise-level IT support, but had an awfully hard time justifying the cost of it. Because all business owners think about costs, I wanted to plainly lay out why getting ‘bargain IT Support’ may end up costing more money, more headaches and more risk than you might have ever expected. And as you think about IT costs, consider whether you are using a shovel or a snow blower to dig out of a blizzard and how is that shovel slowing you down?
Here’s one letter I recently received from a customer that was interested in our services, but couldn’t justify costs of having IT support:
I really appreciate you taking time to point out all of the issues with our network—we are certainly concerned and are taking actions to resolve some of the big problems. We’re just too small of a company to afford IT support and simply cannot afford your level of service. We’re going to go with a solo IT guy that has helped one of our staff member’s husband a few years ago. Going to cloud-based Microsoft 365 and use the included drive cloud storage. I know it isn’t the best, but it’s all we can afford right now.
Again, many thanks for your help, Bruce!
This prospective client was interested and recognizes the need for IT support—especially in an age where cyber criminals take advantage of ANY common network vulnerabilities—un-patched machines, no updates, poorly enabled firewalls—but the fact of the matter is money is tight and IT support simply isn’t a big priority right now.
What this business owner (and frankly the majority of small business owners) don’t realize is that even when they’re not directly paying for IT support, they are shelling out hundreds (or even THOUSANDS) a month in hidden costs of bad IT service.
And these hidden IT costs add up quickly:
Cheap solutions for IT support consistently come with hidden costs that most business owners NEVER even consider before deciding on IT support. As a business owner, office manager or CEO, what you need to look out for are symptoms of your IT support taking short cuts, poor decision making or “not covered” solutions. To really compare apples to apples, you should really consider ALL of your IT costs before deciding on the best solution for you and your team.
Security Cost—If your IT guy isn’t continually patching and monitoring your network CONSTANTLY, then you risk getting hacked, your data stolen, your network used for nefarious activity (I’ve seen many small business networks hosting pornography websites without ANYONE knowing!) and ultimately a bad reputation. If you can’t be trusted to keep your client’s (and employee’s) data safe, how long until they leave?
Non-Compliance—If you rely on credit card processing for your business, you likely need to be PCI compliant. If you’re a credit union, you likely need to comply to NCUA standards. Or if you’re working with any patient data, you need to ensure your HIPAA compliance. If you have sub-standard IT, how in the heck will you maintain your compliances?
Time Cost—probably one of your biggest expenses is payroll. If solving your team’s computer issues means waiting days for someone to get back to you, your staff are likely sitting idle (especially when a network outage or downtime leads to work stoppage!) racking up payroll hours for little in return. Every day that your team lumbers along with a less-than-ideal IT Support is another day they’re wasting time sidestepping problems. Maybe they start trying to resolve their own issues or working around them—it doesn’t matter—what matters is that you’re wasting money having your staff figure out issues your IT guy should be working on!
Opportunity Cost—often difficult to quantify, but definitely real, distracted by internal problems—network outages, a website that is down because of a hack or a server crash, a disaster that resulted in a total loss of data because your IT guy didn’t get around to backing up your data—there are countless scenarios that could make you and your staff run around like their heads were chopped off worrying about data loss or downtime, leading them to lose focus on your business goals, focus on growing your top line revenue and making your business more competitive. When you opt for sub-optimal IT support or service, you are spinning a risk wheel that may mean losing out on big contracts or deals because all you can think about are the recurring problems on the network!
Most of these costs aren’t easily tabulated—but are far more detrimental to your business—your productivity, your employee morale, your brand—than any other business expense. I understand that it may seem easier to pay for cheap support, but will it be easier to clean up after it?
Are you sure you’re getting secure, reliable support that every business expects? Contact us today for a FREE network assessment to identify your hidden IT costs of insecure and unreliable networks.