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Part 2 of 7 Managing IT Expenses - You Shouldn’t Pay Hourly For IT Assistance

Information Technology is something your business must have to operate. Issues can be unpredictable. Managing IT expenses will make a big difference to your company bottom line and your sanity.  Here is the second part of seven of things every business owner needs to know about managing IT expenses.

#2 You Shouldn’t Pay Hourly For IT Assistance

For a long time, IT companies worked much in the same way as plumbers do: by answering the phone when a client had a problem and charging on an hourly basis to fix it. And of course, there are still a number of firms who work this way, along with business owners relying them.

But as technology has become more complex, and more integral to business, this model has become outdated. In fact, it tends to work against your best interests in a couple of important ways. First, it makes your IT team reactive, because they are only working with you when something has gone wrong. And, it can make your technology budget unpredictable, since you never know when those IT hours are going to be needed, or how many of them it’s going to take to correct things in the middle of a crisis.

Imagine for a moment that you’re facing a situation where you can’t open any customer files, your payroll systems are working, or your website has gone down. By putting in an emergency support request with an hourly IT firm, you’re essentially getting hit twice. In that moment your business has stopped making money and you’re likely to be paying the highest possible rate for IT care at the same time.

A better way to manage your IT care, and costs, is through a managed services model. Under this type of program, you pay a monthly fee to have your technology team keep all your systems up-and-running. Because they aren’t waiting for you to call, they can work proactively to solve problems before they become noticeable. And if there is an unforeseen issue, you can rest easy knowing that they’re already familiar with your technology and will solve the problem without incurring any extra costs to your company.

Paying for hourly IT service might be less expensive in any given week or month, but over the long run it’s bound to take a bigger bite out of your bottom line at the worst possible moment.

Part 1 of 7 Managing IT Expenses - You Can Make Your IT Team Bigger by Going Smaller

Many of the business owners we meet with have a love/hate relationship with technology. On the one hand, their companies are dependent on computers, phones, tablets, and software. But on the other, technology seems like a part of their budget that, while necessary, seems to constantly be growing even though they never understand why.

Even worse, many businesses face a situation where they are paying more and more for IT equipment and expertise, but getting little in return. Perhaps they are being forced to buy new hardware they’d rather not invest in, or are feeling persuaded into investments that are difficult to make sense of… much less pay for.

Each of these can be frustrating. And, they’re in direct contrast to the way the most successful business owners look at things like hardware and software. Technology should be a source of strength and innovation within your business – a way to save time, cut costs, and reach more buyers efficiently. If it feels like a drag on your bottom line, then you probably aren’t getting the advice you need.

To show why, and how a little bit of knowledge can make such an enormous difference in your profitability, we share the first thing every business owner absolutely needs to know about managing IT expenses.

#1 You Can Make Your IT Team Bigger by Going Smaller

In a lot of companies, the biggest technology expense isn’t the hardware, software, or networks required to keep things running; it’s the people who are charged with installing and overseeing all of those different elements. But if your IT personnel budget keep swelling in size, there is something you should know: you can often get a lot more, in terms of performance, by going smaller.

In other words, you might be able to get by with fewer on-staff IT employees, or even none of them at all. And contrary to what you might worry, your technology won’t fall apart. In fact, you might actually see things get better.

To understand why, you simply have to understand that outsourcing your IT is almost always a more efficient option than hiring a big in-house staff. For one thing, a separate vendor can scale your service package up or down as needed. That means you can cut costs in the blink of an eye without having to lay off employees. If things are going well, you can increase your IT coverage without having to conduct interviews, train staff, or worry about taking on another long-term salary.

At the same time, and outsourced IT team is going to be made up of many individuals with differing skills and backgrounds. So, no matter what the Challenger problem, they can find the right person to fix it. You would have to hire dozens of technology employees on your own – and keep them up-to-day with training and certifications – to get the same kind of specialized come around-the-clock coverage.

 If you’re in business for long enough, you’re eventually going to need someone with a unique set of IT skills. Why not share that expense with dozens of other business owners, and improve your coverage at the same time, by keeping your in-house team small and using an outside vendor?