Some of the businesses we speak with tell us that they chose to go with budget IT providers that have the cheapest hourly rates because they want to be budget conscious. Budget IT providers offer incredible rates like, “$39 a month” to handle all tech support emergencies. Those prices are hard to beat; that is, as long as you don’t actually need IT support.
IT Support is not a product that can be cheaply produced on an assembly line. You are not buying a commodity, you are buying people’s time. And not just time from any people, you are relying on authorities; technical engineers who have years of experience. These are the people you choose to support your critical business processes and protect, represent and improve your business. When you hire a budget IT provider, you might get access to a phone operator, or if you are lucky, a low level technician, but you are guaranteed you will not be given a direct line to an experienced engineer.
Break-fix tech support is not only expensive, it’s dangerous. If you wait for a crucial system to go down, or a piece of hardware to become outdated, you are asking for extended downtime in addition to the problem that just occurred. This will slow your business functions, makes your employees completely unproductive and add unnecessary stress to your day. Most budget IT providers don’t offer preventative services for clients, and those that do are generally not worth much. Disaster prevention requires operational data and an understanding of what a business needs to accomplish. The important thing to understand is that data needs to be interpreted to be valuable. A person with limited experience may have seen numbers in the green where a more experienced engineer would have noticed that those numbers have increased rapidly over time. Given another week or two and the hardware would likely fail. The experienced engineer could have a replacement ready to go, or ideally, find the problem before the issue materialized and ensure that the disaster never occurred.
If you want to be economy conscious, resist the temptation to cut corners. In the end, the cost of cheap technology solutions is more than just the price tag itself; it’s the amount of time and energy it will take to make that solution work. Workarounds, consultations and backup restorations—all of the time and money you waste with those things, you could have put towards having the problem solved correctly, the first time around. Unfortunately, recovering lost business opportunities is not possible when budget IT didn’t get the job done.
Ultimately, successful IT management is about optimizing your business effectiveness in the long term. Don’t let a cheap upfront price tag temp you with a “broken” solution when you could have gotten a “perfect-fit” for a slightly larger initial investment from a knowledgeable provider that would provide you with years of trouble free service.