An optimized IT infrastructure brings about huge benefits to a business, but a poor IT infrastructure can lead to huge financial loss or worse. Many people think that the only costs to take into consideration for an IT infrastructure are the tangible costs of the infrastructure itself, like the servers, storage, support, power, maintenance, and the like. One of the costs that are hardly considered is that of opportunity cost. The fact that there is proper IT infrastructure then there is a reduction of cost in other places however when there is poor IT infrastructure there is an increase of cost in another place within the business.
For this blog post, we will define Poor IT as the lack of proper IT security, the lack of proper PC maintenance, a “Break, Fix” IT approach, and outdated technology. But all of these stem from simply not being aware of the various IT-related threats and how they truly affect your companies security, productivity, and profitability.
Lack of Proper IT Security
While putting your IT budget together, it might be daunting to think of bearing that extra monthly/yearly or equipment cost for an extra boost in your security. But the fact is, organizations that cut corners in data security will be paying a lot more than that cost of keeping their data secure.
For instance, if there is a security incident where data needs to be recovered that was stolen or deleted by a malicious attacker then your internal IT staff would need to work long hours to recover said data. That cost would include paying the staff for the overtime needed to recover the data and if they are not able to resolve those issues then you would have to hire a cybersecurity specialist which would be an even greater cost.
Moreover, workers that work for long hours to resolve data security issues may suffer from burnout and fatigue which in turn will cause a lack of productivity and higher staff turnover. Adding the cost of training new staff.
Lack of proper PC maintenance
As a small business owner, it is common to take up much of the task of your business on your own. One of those tasks is that of upkeeping your organization’s computers. At first glance, this task may appear to be very “doable”, a few updates here and there, you download a PC Cleaner and run it once in a while but basically the work of maintaining your PCs is all on you.
Now, this may seem more cost-effective for you since you don’t have to pay for additional staff, and there are a number of free tools out there that one can use to keep your PC clean. But the lack of professional servicing on any equipment, though more costly, would cause long-term losses that would oftentimes exceed that of the initial cost.
It is common for a PC to get slower over time despite the free cleaning tools. A slow PC will cause frustration for you and your employees as they try to do there day to day tasks. Not only would it affect your employees but your customers as well. Your customers would expect quick service from you, the worst situation to happen would be to have them waiting for a receipt because your computer is still processing a command. So without proper PC maintenance, you will encounter issues that will affect your bottom line.
A “Break, Fix” IT approach
A “break/fix IT” approach constitutes the monitoring of your IT operations, and when something is broken, it is then fixed, typically this is done by an outsourced company that works on a need by need basis, bringing you back to your original state before the issue.
The Break, Fix IT approach appears to be cost-effective at first. You only pay for the work done when the need arises and can hold back on certain expenses once it doesn’t appear to meet your needs. As a small business, this may seem to be attractive but there is a cost associated with this approach that you don’t see at the moment.
For instance, there are many unexpected cost that can occur with your IT Infrastructure and to bear the cost for every fault that occur would increase your bill significantly. Since one is trying to save cost then there might be issues that one does not bother to fix since it’s not mission-critical or not appear threatening. But these issues may spiral into much bigger ones that can cause your entire IT infrastructure to crash.
The cost of repairing or building back your infrastructure will cost you a lot more and will be very time-consuming as well. Your best option, in this case, would be to utilize a fully managed IT plan for your business needs.
Many organizations use legacy systems, with hardware that was purchased since the early 2000s. The reality is the cost of upgrading your systems is a big one. It’s one that will take a huge chunk of your capital along with training your staff and the time it would take to implement and transition from the old system to the new one. The very thought of those above items may be daunting for you.
What’s even more daunting, however, is the risk of not having up-to-date technology. A study by Microsoft stated that more than 90% of consumers would rather take their business elsewhere than work with a company that uses outdated technology. Moreover, outdated technology reduces staff morale, a report done by PWC states that 73% of staff surveyed know of systems that would help them produce higher quality work at their workplace. Business owners not embracing these new technologies or considering their staff’s advice on those new technologies would further reduce productivity.
Another hidden cost of outdated technology is that of cost of support. It may seem affordable to keep the system you have had for years but when that system starts malfunctioning the cost of bringing in individuals with the know-how of those systems can be really costly.
The cost of IT is not just the capital expenditure for equipment and upkeep but the opportunity cost realized from making proper IT-based decisions for the furtherance of your company. Because Poor It can be detrimental to your staff productivity and profitability.