I meet with prospects all the time that tell me they can’t afford Managed Services. As an IT consulting, I always wonder, “How much money are they losing by not having Managed Services?” We always attempt to educate our customers and prospective clients on how much money can be saved by investing in the appropriate technologies. Sometimes that education results in a great long term relationship. Other times the business chooses to stay with their existing company, knowing what they’re sacrificing, but waiting until they have the appropriate budget. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, but eventually the day comes when a small business realizes that their solution needs to be a little bit more robust. How can you tell that day is approaching? Here are a few things that might make you come to this conclusion.
When employee productivity is hampered by technology.
Employees enjoy being productive. They need fast internet and responsive servers. They also need access to files on the road and other applications while they’re on the go as well. If your technology isn’t accommodating them or, worse, is slowing them down – you’re not only losing money as a result of their decreased productivity, but probably also losing your best employees. Turnover is expensive. Don’t believe me? A CAP study found that the average cost to replace a mid-range employee position ($30,000-$50,000 salary) is 20% of that salary. Inc.com did a great job of breaking down the true impact of employee turnover in this article
When you have major outages that impact sales or production.
If you’re a business, you need internet. With the internet becoming increasingly reliable, VoIP has taken over most business phone systems. That means that your phone lines are impacted every time you experience an internet outage. If you’re in the manufacturing business and are using a hosted line of business application, an outage could seriously impact production, costing you for every moment of downtime. For many of our customers, we create failover lines of internet service so that if one method goes down, another will kick in to keep them online and servicing their customers. In some cases, that can mean the difference between finishing your production numbers within projections and completely stopping production until your single source of internet comes back on.
When you lose valuable data that wasn’t backed up properly.
Backups are so important. Your data is your livelihood. Don’t believe me? How’s this for a staggering statistic: 7 out of 10 small firms that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year. You heard me right, OUT OF BUSINESS. Done. Gone. Everything you’ve worked for all your life just shut down, like it never happened. You need your data and you need to back it up daily. You should not only have redundant backups, but you should make sure that your data is backed up offsite. In Florida that’s particularly important, since Hurricane season is a major factor. Here’s a great article on data recovery and backups to learn more.
When you’re waiting on support to fix major issues.
You can’t afford to be waiting around for support to fix printing issues or get you reconnected for hours or days on end. You need responsive support. Every minute of lost productivity is costing your business money. You need fast initial response times and really savvy technicians that can solve your issues within an appropriate timeframe (not days or weeks).
Sure, you can survive without a really great Managed Services company, but why not just shuffle some things around and get started now? Whether you like it or not, you’re taking major risks by using time and materials IT or, worse yet, doing things on your own. You may not notice the issues now, but as your users begin to get more frustrated with the state of your technology, you’ll start to notice how much it is impacting your organization. Get a handle on your security, compliance, backup and support now so that they don’t continue to cost you.