Knowing the true cost of your IT

by Anonymous Author

Most small businesses rely on Information Technology for everything from accounting and workflow management to email, document production, security and the internet.

But do you know the true cost of IT for your business? The short answer is that ‘it’s much higher than you think’.

First up is the purchase cost. Typically the purchase cost of your equipment is often a fraction of your actual cost. You might buy a PC for $1,200, but by the time you’ve added another $350 for a screen, $20 for a keyboard and mouse, $390 for a word processing program and $70 for anti-virus software, suddenly that $1,200 PC is now $2,030. 

Second are the direct costs that you accumulate during the life of your equipment, such as maintenance.

An IT technician will probably spend about six hours a year supporting it. While that doesn’t sound like a lot of time, if you multiply six hours by the technician’s hourly rate and then by five years, you’ll find you’re close enough to doubling your computer’s purchase cost. Do that exercise for every PC in your business and the numbers start to escalate.

You’ll need software. Aside from the word processing and anti-virus software mentioned above, there’s other incredibly useful stuff that’s needed almost daily like accountancy, payroll, workflow management and document management systems.

Then there are further costs such as mail hosting, website hosting, internet connection, replacement keyboards, backup drives; even tables, desks, electricity, printers and scanners, not to mention less-tangible costs such as internet outages and IT training. 

The true cost of your IT will be dependent on your business needs, but there is one additional cost which we often don’t think about until our IT stops working and that’s the cost of badly structured and maintained IT infrastructure.

Imagine if your IT were to crash or stop; what impact would it have on your business? Would your business still be able to operate? Would you lose orders or customers? Would you be able to make or deliver your products and services on time? 

If you don’t have an IT professional to help you, then find one. Choose someone you trust who speaks plain simple language, understands business, and who is interested in your business, not just your wallet.

The right person is worth their weight in gold as they can help you make the best IT decisions for your business from purchase right through to replacement and all the stages in between.