Small businesses and non-profits need to economize wherever they can. It can be tempting to do without help or to hire the least expensive option. IT services and equipment, in particular, can be expensive. But is money really saved in the long run when a friend or volunteer handles the organization’s IT needs? Is it really less expensive to use donated or second-hand equipment?
Consider these four risks of “going cheap” on IT:
Running a business or non-profit with inadequate systems often results in system crashes and poor performance. Affordable but unqualified IT staff cannot adequately support or maintain information systems. All of that equates to work delays and a drop in revenue or contributions. The cost of down time may be difficult to measure, but it sure isn’t zero.
Limited Awareness and Knowledge
Lacking advice and guidance from experienced, knowledgeable, and trusted professionals that are aware of cost-effective solutions can mean purchasing equipment, applications, and services that aren’t the right solution. Accommodating, modifying, or replacing the wrong solution are all expensive options.
Friends, volunteers, and relatives mean well. But can you hold them accountable for results and deadlines? Failing to achieve objectives means service and credibility breakdowns. Employees or contractors that are carefully selected from reliable sources can be held accountable.
Errors and Issues
Unqualified employees and inadequate systems are more prone to errors. Errors are time-consuming and expensive to correct, assuming they are detected. The cost of undetected errors is incalculable.
With appropriate planning and awareness, investing in IT services and equipment can save money, time and reputation in the long run. Considering the four risks of making “cheap” IT decisions can mitigate some very expensive and frustrating challenges to running your small business or non-profit.