The True Cost of IT Support
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The True Cost of IT Support

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The True Cost of IT Support

The True Cost of IT Support

First up, I need to apologise in advance to the many hardworking and professional IT Administrators who are keeping many Aussie Small to Medium Busineses running. This is not targeted at you!

Many SMEs rely on what I call “Accidental IT Administrators” to keep their systems afloat. We all know them - the keen hobbyists, the advanced Excel users, the Marketing girl who is a champion at running mail merges. Quite often, the responsibility has nothing to do with interest - it comes with the job. For some reason Accountants and Office Managers seemed to be automatically endowed with some of that mysterious “computer knowledge”!

It might be a broad generalisation, but in our experience these guys rarely have any meaningful skills, experience or knowledge. They're just a bit better than the rest of the team. They are also employed to do something else - so every time there's an IT issue they are distracted from the main role. It's a sad fact, but we often get calls from prospective clients after they have been off the air for three days while the CFO has been poking around trying to fix things. (No, we not sure why three days is the magic number either!) The tragedy is that generally we could have got them back up and running in minutes or hours if we'd been allowed first crack at the problem. Usually it takes us as long again to locate and undo the damage that dozens of “maybe I'll try that's” have inflicted on the system.

Let's analyse this. A total of six days of company downtime. If you have 20 staff on an average salary of $75k that's around $6,000 in costs. How much business did you lose during that time? How much credibility did you lose with your customers? There could be an revenue impact of around $60k if your company does $3 million annually. Our costs, depending on whether we only worked office hours or we put on a 24 hour tiger team could range anywhere from $4k through to a whopping $60k!

That's painful. And it might be an example of what happens when business owners don't understand the risks they are exposing themselves to.

So what's the alternative I hear you ask? There's two obvious ones employ a strong IT Administrator or engage an IT managed Services Provider to look after you. What you need is dependent on your requirements - how many systems and desktops you have, how much downtime you can afford, whether your hardware and software is up to date and so on. What we can say with some confidence is that a good quality systems Administrator will cost more than $100k per year. You'll need to have enough work to keep him or her busy and mentally engaged otherwise they'll seek career fulfilment and development elsewhere. You'll need to work out how you'll cover for leave and other absences.

Alternatively, engaging a good managed service provider could be a strong option. Depending on your size and needs it might be cheaper - but you'll get access to broader and deeper specialist skills. Response times will be subject to formal service level agreements. Your “IT Team” can be available to you 24x7x365 if that's what you need.

And either way, your CFO will be able to focus on his proper job for five days of every week!

Why not give us a call on 1300 22 48 48 (or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) to discuss your IT issues. Quite often five minutes of advice can prevent a lot of heartache later.

If you'd like to talk about your IT Adminstration strategy please call us on 1300 22 48 48 (or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). We'll be more than happy to help you work through the issues confidentially and with no obligation.

And if you want to get a feel for the way that we may be able to help you directly please jump across to our tech support page.