Here we are, 2021! What a wild ride 2020 was, and unfortunately for many small to medium-sized businesses, the financial hit from the COVID pandemic does not reset the same way the calendar does. Many are still trying to find ways to save as much money as possible to get back on their feet. Your IT support may not be the first place you think of when trying to save money, right? After all, you only need it when something goes wrong, but what if I told you that there are many hidden costs to your conventional IT Support. Also, are there ways to reduce or even eliminate these costs? Well, there is! Read on to find out more.
What is your yearly budget? This question is crucial for you and us. Understanding this allows us to get the best bang for your buck. One issue with your traditional break/fix IT support is it is unpredictable, and you only pay for it when you need it. This reactionary nature means you are never on the front foot, and it makes it hard to accurately plan how much to allocate to IT in the budget.
Let us say, for example, you have budgeted $10,000 in IT costs for the year. What if an unexpected issue or cause has killed your current server? That’s likely the rest of your years IT budget gone just to replace it, and any future IT fixes, or issues will need to be paid for by taking money from elsewhere in the budget. This might mean cutting back on other valuable aspects of the business that could help you grow.
What if you went overbudget? Everything went smoothly this financial year, and you had plenty of your IT budget left over. That money could’ve been used elsewhere in the budget to help your business grow. The unpredictability of fix/break support is not just affecting your budget, but your whole businesses ability to thrive.
Outside office hours
Imagine this, it’s 5pm on a Friday afternoon, and something goes wrong. Unfortunately, this can’t wait, and the issue needs to be fixed asap. Your IT support is excellent and is straight on the issue no problem, the only thing is, the fix is going to take a few hours, and you’re now paying extra for out of hours work.
Anytime a PC, laptop or other IT equipment goes down, that is time that is lost for that employee. This means you are essentially paying this worker to not work until the issue is fixed and they are back online. Not only are you paying your IT to resolve the issue, but you also have the lost cost of wasted employee time. Suppose this happens regularly due to old equipment or oter circumstances. In that case, this lost cost of employee time can really add up.
Now imagine the worst-case scenario, your system has been attacked. Everything stops. Your IT team is working around the clock to get things back up and running, but your entire workforce can’t work until it is all sorted out. This can happen, even with large businesses with robust IT security. If you’re a large business, this could mean all of your workers sit around doing nothing for possibly days until everything is up and running again. Is this something you can afford to have happened?
Alongside the cost of paying your employees to not work when there is downtime, there is the opportunity cost that these issues can cost you. Those workers may have been working on something time-sensitive. What if there was a tender that needed to be submitted and they were unable to be completed due to an IT issue? There is the opportunity cost of potentially winning that tender to consider.
Anytime an IT issue occurs and stops an employee from working, you will incur an opportunity cost alongside the financial one.
And what about your company’s reputation? What if you take pride in meeting deadlines and/or your reliability and are suddenly unable to deliver? Suppose you are unable to work due to an unexpected IT issue. In that case, your businesses reputation may take a hit, and that can arguably be the highest hidden cost of them all.
So how do you reduce or prevent these additional costs?
The solution is a managed services agreement with your IT supplier. The managed services approach is to offload more of your internal IT support tasks, that drive up hidden costs, by consolidating support into a single contract.
A managed services support agreement will save you money. It’s that simple. Your IT services are bundled into an agreed-upon monthly cost. So you know exactly how much you need to pay each year in IT support, making budgeting a breeze. It also eliminates outside of office hour surcharges entirely and any other nasty surprises in your invoices from your IT provider.
Break/fix support is based on a reactionary response, whereas a managed services agreement is much more preventative in nature. As part of your service agreement, regular monitoring and checks can be organised. This means you have a much better understanding of when something may need replacing or when an issue looks like it may occur in the near future. This allows you to plan your budget better. Sure, hardware failures may still happen unexpectedly, and that will even cost money to replace. Yet, you will always know ahead of time that it will be out of warranty soon and can plan ahead.
Not only will an IT support agreement help you plan better, but it will lead to much fewer issues overall. This will help significantly reduce the lost worker wage costs and the opportunity costs, and any potential hits to your reputation as a business from unexpected downtime.
You may not be able to eliminate the hidden costs of fixing IT issues completely. Still, you can cut them right down with a managed services agreement. Contact us to discuss our various IT managed services agreements and learn how to help you and your business grow throughout 2021 and beyond.