Cut your IT budget and improve your business

You might be one of many business owners who could cut your tech support budget in half right now, and if done right, you could not only save money, your might actually improve business performance.

This is because most business owners believe they can't understand and direct the IT work themselves because they're not the experts. So they abdicate - they trust their service provider and leave the decisions up to them. And that's where things can get dangerous. At many businesses a never-ending list of issues, problems, bugs, glitches and other work continues to be the priority when the tech arrives.  And the work inevitably expands to fill the time allotted. More problems, more tech time at your office.  Status quo.  Lots of issues get fixed, but how do you know the stuff that matters most to you matters to your tech and is getting done?

Stop and think about the results you want from your tech service.  If you're like me, the list is pretty short:

  • Never lose any data, ever.
  • All my stuff works when and where I need it: Internet, printing, access to files, etc.
  • All my employees are productive and can use their technology

All the work associated with tech service is depicted below in the Value Hierarchy pyramid.  The higher up the pyramid you go, the higher the value the work has in terms of impact to your business: Reducing risk or improving productivity and profitability.  Notice too that the highest value work tends to be the smallest volume of work. There's a surefire way to get peace of mind, and help your budget, and it's by understanding the technology service Value Hierarchy.

First, your tech service should be focusing on two things without exception before all other matters: Data preservation measures to always ensure access to and protection of your information is first.   Next, checking in with everyone and anyone that uses or accesses any technology at the company and capturing every issue, no matter how small or how large.

Next, with the list of issues in hand, two things are possible: Review and prioritization, as well as understanding what problems exist so a preventive maintenance plan can be put together.  Now here's the key concept:  Instead of allowing your tech budget to get sucked dry by response and correction of issues on the list ("corrective maintenance"), pick a service budget big enough for the highest value activities: Data preservation, current-state review with all the users, and preventive maintenance.  

Finally, factor in an allowance for corrective maintenance- repair of problems that are the highest priority based on what matters most to the business.  Reserve the right to defer and say "wait" to things on the list that may not be important to you today.  If your technician is taking the time to explain possible impact, good or bad, to the business, you'll know what additional expenditures to approve, and which ones to decline.

Want to get more info on an optimal service approach for your business that will save you money and make you more profitable? Email me at jcoleman@techroom.com.