Since 2010, we’ve been offering Winnipeg companies the promise of ‘Worry-Free IT’. While people generally understand that technology can be a source of stress, we haven’t been specific about just what those ‘worries’ are that we’re removing for our clients. Until now.
After hundreds of meetings with business owners over the last 6 years, we’ve identified 5 major categories of technology issues that businesses of all sizes are facing.
More and more, when referring to their information systems, we hear business owners tell us ‘we can’t be down’. From the trucking company with their fleet management software and satellite tracking to the accounting firm processing Year End tax returns. Technology has become so critical that downtime can be crippling for any organization. A recent Dell EMC study shows that the average Canadian firm experienced 25 hours of downtime in the previous 12 months. 25 hours! The cost of downtime is felt in lost revenues, lost employee productivity, and in client goodwill when service delivery is impacted.
The Internet is becoming a scary place for small business owners. While companies are increasingly connected, cyber threats are becoming more targeted, efficient, and costly. The emergence of ‘ransomware’ (malware that encrypts a victim’s data and demands a ransom for the decryption key) is a real and growing concern. In a recent survey by Osterman Research, nearly 50% of respondent companies had suffered a ransomware attack in the last 12 months. SMBs are specifically being targeted due to weak security practices, inadequate backups, and their likelihood to pay (the same Osterman survey indicates dozens of Canadian firms were forced to pay ransoms last year).
While server crashes and network downtime are hugely disruptive and costly, the average Canadian company is losing more money each year to a subtle culprit – slow system performance. A recent study by Robert Half found that the average Canadian professional loses 19 minutes per day dealing with IT-related issues. That’s almost 80 hours over a 50 Week work year! Ensuring those systems are well-maintained and performing at an optimal level can save your business thousands of dollars in lost productivity every year.
Between hardware and software purchases, security, support services and training, technology costs can add up quickly. Gartner Research Group indicates that companies spend somewhere around 2% of revenues annually on IT. For the small business owner, controlling these costs and maximizing ROI in this area is essential. Without a clear plan, and budget, this can be difficult to accomplish. For many owners, IT spending is handled reactively – equipment is replaced when it breaks, and upgrades are delayed as long as possible. With technology changing rapidly, businesses can be left behind, not capitalizing on cost-savings and efficiencies from new solutions.
While technology issues can be minimized, they cannot be eliminated. Software updates, user issues, and changes in the organization will continue to create a need for IT Support services. As a result, we’ve included slow IT support as one of our ‘Big 5 IT Worries’. Minimizing the disruption of these technology issues relies on having fast, responsive, professional support services – readily available to every user in the organization. The cost of a support incident can grow quickly the longer an employee is waiting for a resolution.
Each of these 5 worries can create costs for businesses, while not being classified as ‘IT Expenses’. Most companies look at their IT expenses as what they are currently paying to their support vendor, plus hardware and software purchases. The reality is that technology issues can be driving expenses throughout your business. How much? Head over to //www.365tech.ca/worry-free-it to get an estimate!
This all sounds a little bleak, but there is good news! We have a better way. We’re providing IT support and management that does away with the ‘Big 5 IT Worries’, delivers Worry-Free IT, and lets you focus on growing your business.
Thoughts? Comments? Share them below. What’s your ‘IT Worry’?
This post was originally published December 15th, 2016 on LinkedIn by Michael Anderson, President & CEO of 365 Technologies, Winnipeg’s leading outsourced IT department for 15-100 employee companies.