As anybody working in IT will tell you, the most common
question we get isn’t, “Why is my computer running so slowly?” or “Why is my
Internet not working?” It’s, “What do you charge for your services?” With so
IT companies clamoring for your attention, it makes sense
that you’d want to look for the most inexpensive, cost-efficient option, right?
The problem is that this question doesn’t get to the heart
of the issue. Sure, any IT company can offer rock-bottom prices, but as with
anything else, those savings are going to come with fewer, lower-quality IT
services. Also, many cheaper services say they are inexpensive, but they
typically have slow response times and nickel and dime you over
everything. Instead of asking about
price right off the bat, the better question is, “What will I
get for my money?”
With cheapo IT companies, the answer is not much. Maybe
they’ll be there when the server breaks down or if Microsoft Word is acting
weird on your computer. But you can bet they won’t help you implement IT
systems that will prevent real, catastrophic issues from arising – the kinds of
things that determine the success or failure of a company at the most basic
Today, business and technology go hand in hand. It’s an
inescapable fact that good tech forms the pillars upon which successful
companies stand. Many business owners still insist on cutting corners with IT,
hiring cheap and inexperienced “professionals” to protect and support the most
fundamental aspects of their operation.
Of course, it’s hard to fault them for doing so. Without a
firm grasp of a business’s IT needs, it’s all too easy for a subpar, would-be
IT partner to convince an owner they meet the company’s requirements. That’s
question, “What will I get for my money?” is so important.
IT support coverage needs to be comprehensive, addressing every potential
sink-or-swim crisis before it actually happens. The integrity of your network
infrastructure should support your business, rather than
force you to run around putting out fires.
A downed server or temporarily unreliable network might seem
like minor issues, but even the smallest of IT problems can easily snowball
into an expensive nightmare that threatens your company’s very existence.
Take a company that stores all its data on a central,
networked server, for example. Maybe they’re a content creation firm, with
terabytes of custom-designed client marketing materials stashed away, or a
large law practice with thousands of vital case documents. They were reluctant
to spend much on IT support, so they went with the cheapest option available.
Of course, regular server maintenance wasn’t included in their
package, but they assumed their trusty hardware would keep
kicking for at least a few more years. But when an employee tries to access the
database, an error pops up. Upon further investigation, it turns out the
outdated server has finally broken down, apparently for good. All those
documents, all that data instrumental to the basic
functionality of the company, is irrecoverable – thousands
of hours of work (and thousands of dollars) down the drain, and all because of
an issue that would easily have been caught and prevented by a team of qualified
When technology works, it’s easy to imagine that it’ll
continue working without issue. But the fact is that a computer network
requires constant, behind-the-scenes monitoring and maintenance to ensure it
stays up and
running, not to mention secure.
From hordes of hackers waiting in the wings for you to slip
up, to hardware failure, to natural disasters, rogue employees and a million
other IT threats, it’s important to ensure the stability of your network before
problem comes knocking. Cheap Band-Aid solutions work great
until the day they cost you thousands. It’s better to invest in a team of real
IT experts, and avoid crisis altogether. It’s much cheaper to prevent something
breaking than it is to replace it altogether.