How should businesses go about making an IT budget? Among other benefits, Scale’s more managed approach helps keep businesses on track.
When talking to small or medium size business owners, the biggest issue they have is budget. The budget is often the lifeblood these businesses, everything from salary to office supplies are strictly controlled. But, many small or medium size businesses lack a proper IT budget. When I ask about their IT budget, most will give me the price they are charged by their hourly rate IT company per month. This could not be further from the truth…
Many small to medium size business owners have no idea what their actual IT costs are. The costs that are often neglected include software renewals, antivirus renewals, firewall renewals, ect. All of which have an annual cost small to medium size businesses never think about when planning their yearly IT costs. More disturbingly, the costs of downtime never factors into their IT budget. The easiest thing to overlook as a business owner should be the thing they should be the most concerned about, productivity of their employees. When small or medium size businesses talk about downtime, they automatically think of a catastrophe, like a server crash or failed backup. While these are legitimate concerns for any business, a much more prominent foe lingers in the majority of businesses, lag time, or slow computers. This is not only due to outdated machines, but the lack of proactive IT maintenance and properly maintained updates.
Another concern is how can small or medium sized businesses plan an IT budget when their costs vary from month to month? Many of these businesses will tell us about months when they spend thousands of dollars one month and then a couple hundred the next. This inconsistency of IT costs is due to the fact that they only call on their IT service provider when problems occur. This model makes it impossible to plan an IT budget. This causes a roller coaster of an IT budget, one which is impossible to plan for.
Reluctance of small to medium size business owners to call their support company when a problem occurs is also a common practice. Hourly rate IT companies make their money when your IT goes down. That is a problem because hourly or “break fix” type IT companies only make money when your business productivity is suffering. Often, these hourly IT company’s talking points include the fact that their “proactive” monitoring systems will tell them when your network has an outage or issue before you know about it. While this may be true, it is often only a tool to get a technician on site to put a Band-Aid on the problem. Bottom line is the fact that the more time they spend at your office “fixing” the IT problems, the more money they make. Not only that, but there is little or no proactive maintenance occurring, something that will cost businesses more money in the long run.
This model is obviously broken, it is near impossible for business owners to properly plan an IT budget with these factors in play. That is why more and more businesses are turning to a Managed Service IT Provider to insure they can budget their IT expenses just as they would any other facet of their business. Scale’s managed service offering helps provide not only a hard IT budget, but also aligns the goals of the business with it’s IT provider.
As a business owner it is always important to plan for a worst case scenario. Implementing disaster recovery in your IT budget can save your company time and money. In the event of a disaster, Scale’s goal is to get your business back up-and-running at optimum efficiency. Contact Scale today to learn more about how our Managed IT Services can help reduce you technology costs and help your business grow.