A tremendous challenge for many small businesses is keeping up with technology. What we have found is that many small business owners focus on the tangible needs of their business, and neglect the intangible. Of course, business owners themselves will not admit to this. Most businesses feel they are exactly where they need to be in IT management. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s incredibly rare for our team to go in for a consultation and find a business that is operating it’s technology appropriately. So in this blog post, we’ll exam the “why” behind this failure of management.
Nearly every business owner will blame cost as the top reason why they haven’t handled their technology properly. This isn’t entirely their fault. It’s very similar to when people say they haven’t had their roof inspected because it costs $50k to replace a roof. We all know that most house’s roofs don’t cost $50k, but for some reason many homeowners exaggerate the perceived expense and put off the necessary upkeep.
So how much truth is there to this? Not much. Unfortunately, many IT providers either don’t know how to communicate this effectively, or artificially suggest projects that dramatically increase IT expenditures.
Another reason we hear often is that for most business owners, IT just isn’t something they understand. Again, a major reason for this is most people in the technology field are simply horrible communicators. They are usually engineers and not very effective at sales or marketing.
The reality is, once you find a technology provider you trust, you don’t need to understand the underlying work being done. Similar to a dental visit: You go in and state that your front teeth are overly sensitive to hot food. The dentist suggests and performs a variety of procedures, and you’re suddenly back to normal. There is no need to abundantly research the medical procedure, you simply trust that your dentist will perform as a professional.
Good technology providers are exactly the same way. They analyze and communicate needs for your business, and you trust that they will handle it efficiently and effectively.
The end result is your bottom line. By not handling technology properly, you end up having to spend more money in the long run to patch problems and fix major issues as they arise. Spending a smaller amount each month on proper maintenance will easily prevent this. It’s vital for every business to budget IT into their monthly expenses.
Secondly, hiring a professional consulting firm to handle technology for you will free your team up to get back to the fundamentals of your business. Having someone in house who also takes care of technology on the side places a tremendous burden on their back to handle more tasks than they should. The stress of worrying about technology should be lifted off the shoulders of your team so they can do their actual job.
In recent news, you’ve probably seen the WannaCry cyberattack / ransomware and the damage it has inflicted upon businesses. A very simple, rudimentary process of upkeep in technology could have prevented these organizations from this attack. Unfortunately, the damage is catastrophic, and much more costly than the prevention would have been.
Don’t wait for disaster, and treat technology the same way you treat any other aspect of your business.