Letting IT Slide: How Businesses Ignore Technology Management
From running a company efficiently to competing with competitors with website and online features, information technology (IT) is essential for success in business.
As both business and society becomes more reliant on technology, business owners need to ensure that their systems are being managed properly. Plug-n-play doesn’t mean ignore.
Interesting enough, most businessmen understand the need for new technology in their business and often invest into that new technology, but they don’t think about supporting it properly.
When something stops working or breaks, the wrong manufacturer or vendor will usually get blamed when the true problem resulted from negligence on the part of the decision maker to ensure that they were taking necessary steps to support their technology systems.
This mistake can be sudden and dramatic, such as an outage of systems. The losses from these situations are more obvious. However, it’s not these IT situations that result in the greatest losses. The little slowdowns and quirks are actually the biggest drainers.
Big or small, we can put most computer problems into one of two categories. Here are the categories and examples of how these situations can impact a business:
- Slow or Off-an-On System: A slow computer, network server or otherwise may be something employees put up with, but have you thought about what those delays are costing in labor over time? Say a delay results in 3 staff members having to wait a total of 10 minutes throughout the course of a workday. That’s 30 minutes a day. Over a month, that’s around 3,150 minutes or 52.5 hours of time – lost time. If those staff members are averaging $20 per hour, that issue is costing you $1,050 per month.
- System Outage: This is when one or more of the systems that your company relies on to work stops running altogether. This could be a single workstation, email, telephones, or access to files over the network. When a problem like this occurs, the clock starts on losses. Staff labor, lost new customers, lost faith from current customers, an increase in backlogged work, and the value of your time is costing you by the minute.
Whether your computer has one computer or a hundred, don’t ignore IT management. You will greatly reduce losses, obvious or not, when you make a proactive effort with technology.
- Example 1 – Email Downtime) A company in Folsom purchased a brand new Dell server and several HP workstations for their office. They paid a local IT company to setup all of the equipment and get everything working properly. The company recommended that they get some kind of IT management going to ensure stability and uptime with their systems (spoiler alert: this company was Clarity). The company declined, calling it a waste of money. This company did not have an IT person on staff. About eight months passed. One day, staff realized that they were not receiving emails and their Outlook said Exchange was disconnected. The owner was eventually reached and he called Clarity about the problem. Clarity politely remotely connected to their server and found that an Exchange update had come out since they purchased their system and would need to be installed to patch the problem. It was also noted that they had oversized mailboxes that were reducing the overall response time of Exchange with users. The company owner admitted that things had been running slow. Clarity made numerous other recommendations to the owner (the same ones they had made eight months earlier). The owner realizes the importance of being proactive with the management of his IT systems and asked Clarity to be their Managed IT company. Unfortunately, the company faced several hours of email downtime from the issue, which resulted in lost leads and angry customers. The owner said the company makes about $1,000 per hour and that the outage probably cost them between $3,000-5,000. All of which would have been averted if Clarity had been managing their computers, network and servers all along.
- Example 2 – Network Virus) It’s not possible to provide 100% security against viruses and malware in a company network, but one company could have stopped an issue before it caused major damage. An organization in Sacramento signed up for Managed IT by Clarity, but refused two highly recommended features of the service: Virus protection and regular backups of their data. One day, an employee received what appeared to be a legitimate email with a zip file attachment. He opened it and found nothing so he continued with his business. Within several minutes, his computer started to slow down and eventually froze up. Other employees on the network reported that their shared file drive was missing files or was inaccessible. Clarity was contacted and quickly tried to remote in. The virus had locked out remote access so they came on-site. Each computer and the server had to have special cleanup software installed so the virus could be removed. Unfortunately, even after the virus was removed from the server, their shared files had already been affected. They lost over 5 years of member data. Since they had declined backup, there was no way to recover the information. The estimated cost of this loss was immeasurable. This could have been avoided with an investment into virus protection software, but more importantly, a regular managed backup of their data, which Clarity could have setup within hours of their giving the go-ahead. After this, they increased their support to include backups every half-hour and one of the most advanced business virus and malware protection applications on the market.