Today, some businesses persist in seeing IT as a cost center. This attitude is rooted in the past, when the high price of hiring in-house IT staff paying for hourly support, combined with the expense of network infrastructure, put reliable IT out of reach for most small and midsized businesses (SMBs).
Today, things are different. IT now permeates every aspect of most businesses and shapes the direction of their development. In this current technology-driven climate, most successful businesses understand that IT is a driver of productivity and value — not a cost center. Moreover, new models of technology management have emerged, providing a cost-effective means to extract the greatest ROI from investments in technology.
Information Technology Won’t Deliver Solid ROI Without Proper Maintenance
While IT is now a core driver of business success, there are dangers too. According to data from research firm IHS, network downtime costs businesses in the United States upwards of $700 billion every year. Even at small and midsized businesses, it’s not uncommon for the cost of network downtime to reach into the thousands of dollars per hour, when you factor in all the associated costs.
Reliable Technology is Central to Employee Morale and Engagement
When your technology systems go down, your busy employees can’t get their work done, and morale deteriorates. According to DataBarracks, one-third of companies have not done an effective calculation on the real costs of network downtime, and very few businesses have considered how downtime devalues their team’s work and makes them feel as if they’re unsupported.
While good technology has been demonstrated to have a positive effect on employee engagement, especially young employees, it’s also true that bad technology can have the opposite effect. This should make ensuring reliable network availability a priority for any business that wants staff members to stay active and excited about their jobs.
How can you calculate the total cost of IT downtime in your organization? Here’s a useful guideline.
The Previous Forms of IT Support Enforced the “IT as a Cost Center” Mentality
In the past, companies either hired internal staff to help maintain their IT systems or else relied on a break-fix service provider to come onsite and repair systems that had started to malfunction. Both these models have serious downsides that prevent you from optimizing the ROI of your technology investment.
- Break-Fix Support
If you call an IT services company to help you repair a broken system, you’re already losing productivity. How long will it take them to repair your systems? Their unspoken answer is, “as long as possible,” because they’re billing you by the hour. This makes predicting and measuring the financial benefit of your technology a lot harder. That fundamental misalignment of your interests and their interests rarely results in a positive ROI.
- Internal IT Staff
Are you having a hard time finding and retaining reliable IT staff? There’s a good chance you are because there’s an industry-wide job shortage. Even when you can find a good person to help you maintain your IT systems, talent comes at a steep price, which includes base salary, benefits, insurance costs, paid time off, and more. More importantly, is you likely won’t get all the skills that you need in one employee – meaning you’ll still need expensive, outside assistance for certain specialized projects.
Managed IT Services Providers – The Natural Evolution of IT Support
In contrast to the two models above, hiring an experienced managed IT services provider like Manhattan Tech Support gives your company a trusted partner who can help maximize your ROI from technology investments while protecting your network, servers, and overall IT infrastructure. This approach positions your business for long-term growth and reveals the true value of IT as an investment in stronger productivity – and not just another cost to be tolerated.
There are several ways an MSP helps you maximize your technology investment:
- Proactive Network Management
An MSP will monitor and maintain your systems with a specialized set of tools, ensuring the highest possible levels of system uptime and reliability. This leads to increased employee productivity and morale.
- Comprehensive IT strategy
Quality MSPs will go beyond offering just IT support services; they’ll work with you to develop an IT roadmap that keeps your infrastructure and systems focused on achieving your business goals.
- Fixed, Flat-Rate Monthly Fees
Manhattan Tech Support provides predictable, completely all-inclusive pricing for its technology support services. This gives organizations confidence that no matter how many problems you have, you’ll have the same IT support bill at the end of the month.
Strong Technology Can Lead to a Wide Range of Efficiency Gains
Besides a more reliable network, how can making investments in technology help my business? What can I achieve with a stronger IT infrastructure that I couldn’t achieve otherwise? Here are just a few of the many good ways that technology can make your business more profitable.
Cloud Computing – Greater Network Uptime and Increased Collaboration
Cloud computing breaks down information barriers, allowing data to flow freely between systems and applications. The free flow of data helps employees collaborate and innovate, which is why 90% of business leaders say the cloud has increased their overall business efficiency.
But cloud computing is an enormous category of technology services and products, each of which brings its own benefit to your company profitability.
- Software as a Service Applications (SaaS) Offer Flexibility and Scalability
Purchasing SaaS software on a flexible month-to-month basis provides increased scalability, while also allowing you to extract new insights about your customers and performance from your company’s data. According to Forrester Research, the top three reasons businesses adopt SaaS applications is to improve business agility, lower overall costs, and allow employees to better focus on important projects.
- Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery Protect Your Business
In contrast to traditional disaster recovery solutions, which were complex and expensive, cloud-based disaster recovery systems protect your business from catastrophe by allowing you to instantly access back-up data and applications after your on-premise systems go down. According to the University of Texas, 93% of companies without a Disaster Recovery solution who suffer a major data disaster are out of business within one year.
Automation Can Be a Key Driver of SMB Success
At small and midsized businesses, every dollar of your budget matters, which is why more small and midsized businesses are looking toward automation to reduce employee workloads and streamline tedious business processes. This saves companies time and money, enabling them to achieve higher productivity with less effort.
- Workflow Automation
Knowledge workers spend a significant portion of their day on repetitive tasks. Many of these, such as data collection and task management, can be automated to save time – increasing productivity. According to SmartSheet, 60% of knowledge workers say they’d save at least 6 hours a week by automating the repetitive aspects of their jobs.
- Email Automation
Email automation has become an integral part of the marketing mix at companies of all sizes. Did you know that companies who send automated emails are 133% more likely to send messages that align with their customer’s purchase cycle?
Manhattan Tech Support Can Maximize Your Technology Investment
The experts at Manhattan Tech Support have over 20 years helping small and midsized businesses streamline their IT, maximize uptime, and discover the best possible return on their technology investment. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you get the most from your IT budget, reach out and ask!
Kaytuso – the cybersecurity & regulatory compliance division of ManhattanTechSupport.com LLC.
Exceed Digital – the custom software development and business intelligence solutions division of ManhattanTechSupport.com LLC