Christopher Lentz | September 29, 2015 06:06 PM
As an IT service provider, we have encountered every kind of prospective client that you can think of. Some are looking for a managed IT service and others are simply looking for a quick, break-fix relationship. No matter which side of the field you are sitting on, these 3 keys might shed some new light on saving money on your IT support.
Everyone is trying to cut IT costs these days. That wouldn't normally be a problem, except when it is. For most businesses today, IT is an essential and critical element to their success. This is because everything they do relies on some form of technology: a laptop, a VoIP phone, an online file share app, etc. The truth is, almost every business is now surrounded by IT! That said, the first key is to realize that you cannot eliminate your IT costs...it is nearly impossible. The solution is to determine exactly what IT you DO need in order to do two things: 1) Keep your current employees working 2) Bring in new employees/customers without any hiccups. When you know that, getting the right amount of IT is easy and usually pretty cost friendly.
As a business near the Silicon Valley, we know that everyone has a cousin that works on computers (insert System Admin chuckle here). The truth is that these days, your cousin may not be your best bet when it comes to getting the proper support you need for the level your business is at. Let's put it this way...would you trust your cousin with your brand new $250,000 Bentley? No?! Then why would you trust them with your $1,000,000/year business? The key here is that you should hire an IT professional that matches the level of your business or what you expect your business to grow to. Sure, you can get IT support for $50/hour...but remember that you often get what you pay for...or worse!
If you are a growing business or startup, it is common to start off with simple and free tools to keep your costs low. While this is fine during your first year or so, sticking to this long term can start to backfire. Don't get me wrong, FREE tools are great and there are a lot that we really enjoy working with, but for great tools you need to spend a few bucks. For example, a free antivirus program might be a great fit during the initial stages of your business, but as you grow managing every instance of that program on your 250+ computers can be a daunting, time-consuming, and costly adventure. The third key then is to realize that "there is no such thing as a FREE lunch", wise words from my high school economics teacher that I still recall to this day! At some point, FREE is just not manageable on a large scale and moving to solutions that promote IT efficiency can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each month.