IT Services are not needed in your business if you need “no help” with the technology you’re using. That is no help as in zero help. No help as in no help at all.
And that’s because you either employ your own IT Technician, or you’re already using an IT Services company. These are the only two possible reasons you would need no help.
If you employ a really smart “in-house IT person” read on to see how he or she stacks up when compared to a professional IT Services company. We’re not denigrating your employees; we’re trying to help them and help you.
We’ve heard, “We have our own internal IT” many times before
Usually, “our internal IT” means one really smart employee in the company (we’ll call them the “Excel Expert”) spends a part of each day - more time than you think - helping your other employees with their technology issues and not just troubleshooting Excel. Soon enough, that employee is stretched thin because they keep getting torn away from their “real job” to spend time resolving other employees’ issues.
Smart employees helping other employees is very common in the business, right?
Of course, it is! We only discourage that when it comes to the Excel Expert being your in-house IT person. Why? Because they complain to us that they can’t get their “real” work done! It’s true. The manager they report to doesn’t like it either.
Generally, they’re very smart, and when word gets around that they helped someone, other employees who also need help will ask the Excel Expert to help them. Smart employees helping other employees is very common in business.
This type of help costs you, the business owner, money - more than you realize - unless you’ve run the numbers for your labor overhead.
As the owner of your business, you might not hear an employee complain
It’s not something they’re going to complain to you about because they don’t want to be labeled a complainer, or cause trouble for the friends at work they’re helping.
Smart employees helping other employees is good company culture. No one – including the writer of this article - would disagree with that. But it’s expensive and you’re paying too much for it.
So read on if you’re not using an IT Services company. This blog post may change your mind
Now, and long before my time here at DTS InfoTech I would occasionally hear business owners say, “Why pay an IT Services company to maintain my computers? It’s a waste of my money. When something breaks, I call my IT person and they fix it. You don’t need to maintain computers. Especially now, when everything is in the cloud. The cloud companies maintain that stuff; I don’t have to.”
“I don’t have to!” is one of those comments we’ve heard many times over the years. In response to this comment, I finally started asking business owners how they knew this was true, that they didn’t have to maintain their technology.
Their answers are always easy to overcome. Easy because they’re missing the bigger picture in IT Services. That is how good IT Services save you money and help your company perform, and that includes keeping your really smart employees focused on their job description and not as the in-house IT Person.
First things first
When a company calls us because they’re interested in IT Services, the first thing we must know is if IT Services would be a good investment for their money. We tell first-time callers from time to time that they don’t need the full range of IT Services we offer.
Some companies - specifically small companies with less than five computers – only need basic maintenance on their computers.
Basic system maintenance is a great place to start and inexpensive
With first-time callers, we want to find out about them. About their business. How do they make money? How many computers do they have? What types of software are they using? Is this business growing, or just happily maintaining? Do they have any plans for growth? Are they going to be hiring new employees? Will they be looking at bringing on new software to help them offer more services to their customers?
It’s not just about how many computers they have; it’s much more than that
To properly advise them in all things technology, we have to know the answer to those questions first.
Our goal is to provide solutions to their technology problems. Our goal is not to make money off of them.
Believe it or not, treating others in a way we treat ourselves, is a core value at DTS InfoTech – in other words, solving problems for our customers, not for us.
All businesses have to be profitable. Businesses have to make money. But it should never be the first and only goal.
During that first phone call, our job is to find out if there is a natural fit between for our companies. If they want a certain type of service we do not provide, or can’t provide, we will tell them.
If there is a fit, and usually there is, we take the next step, which is a physical on-site evaluation of their current technology. It’s similar to taking your car to a mechanic so they can diagnose the reason your car is not working the way it used to.
A network evaluation is our way of looking under the hood of your business, and your technology
Our technician will look at a few of your computers, your server, your network switches, and routers, etc. They’ll check to see how you're backing up your data. They will also find out how fast you need your data restored in case of an emergency. We check for many other things as well, but you get the idea of what the network evaluation is.
Why evaluate the network?
You should find out if you have the technology you think you have!
Most companies want “instant” restoration of deleted data. The evaluation will find out if you have the hardware, technical expertise, and software installed and working for that type of restoration goal. In our experience, we find most companies can NOT restore data quickly—even when that data is stored in a supposedly-backed-up “cloud” account.
Quick as in 60 minutes or less
Many companies are under the mistaken idea that backing up data is all they have to be concerned about in data backup. Data backup is only part of it.
How fast can you get your data back, known as “restoration”? The time it takes from the moment you’re down to the moment you’re back in business is a critical part of it. Many “cloud-based backups” keep great copies of your data, but can take days to restore to usability.
A thorough network evaluation will identify everything about your network; you must know this information but probably don’t, and this is because networks steadily change over time. All businesses deal with this.
And the Excel Expert tends to not think about these things.
How much does a network evaluation cost?
Professional IT Services companies do not charge for network evaluations.
The reason there is no charge is that we don’t know how much it will cost to service your network until we determine the type of technology you have and your business needs. An onsite evaluation is a part of that process.
Using the car analogy, some mechanics charge for diagnosis; DTS InfoTech does not charge for network evaluations.
After the evaluation, a written, detailed cost proposal is submitted to the business owner
After the evaluation is presented and discussed in detail, the business owner has the information they need to make an informed decision on the next step, which is: do we hire this IT Services company to help us, or not?
In our experience, business owners always want the service we’re offering, but they don’t want to pay the monthly service fee.
They say, “This proposal is great, I didn’t know we had as much technology going on around here as we do. This evaluation and proposal help me to see why we’re having the problems we’re having. But I can’t budget this amount of money.”
It always comes down to money and it should! However
A stubborn Fact: Monthly IT Services will cost a business less than one minimum wage employee per month. It’s true.
How many minimum wage employees do you employ who:
- Manage critical business information systems each month?
- Have no benefits, paid days off, and never take a sick day off?
- Are trusted advisors, directly improving your life?
- Are there to resolve your computer emergencies 2:00 am on a Sunday?
We’re guessing you don’t have a single minimum wage employee who is responsible for these types of positions at your company. Not one, making minimum wage!
Since it comes down to money, why don’t you invest your hard-earned money wisely?
Here’s an exercise you should do to run the numbers on where your money is going. You probably won't do it, but you should. Just sayin.’
Take your total hourly cost company-wide, for your labor and divide it by the number of hours your employees waste having to deal with technology that is slow or not even working. A simple 10-second delay a few times a day for each of your 5 employees can add up to an hour per week of wasted payroll expenses--stuff like slow computers, printers not printing, slow emails and accidentally-deleted data. You know how it goes on and on. Remember, your hourly cost also includes all the associated liabilities, such as taxes, insurance, worker’s comp, PTO, 401(k)/retirement benefits, etc.
Technology that is not working = your business losing money
Those labor costs are real, and you’ll be amazed at how much money your business is hemorrhaging from a wasted hour of labor because technology is not working. Run the numbers, and you’ll see it.
When we did this exercise – we’ve since stopped because the answer is always the same - the lost money is always more than the monthly IT Services cost. Every time. It’s always more. You don’t see the money you’re losing, because it’s an invisible cost. It’s not like an Invoice staring at you!
IT Services - very very good for your business
Good for your business? Yep!
- A trusted advisor showing you how to stay competitive with technology is worth their fee.
- A trusted advisor managing your critical business information systems each month is worth their fee.
- A trusted advisor receives no benefits, and never takes a day off is worth their fee.
- A trusted advisor who directly benefits your life is worth their fee.
So why not invest in an advisor?
You should reconsider. We think you’ll see something that perhaps you have not considered.
- Your computers and technology will work.
- Employees won’t stand around constantly waiting.
- Employees who are helping other employees with technology won’t have to; they can focus on what you’re paying them to do in the first place.
- You’ll have an advisor you can call any time for advice, and you won’t be charged additionally for their time or the good advice you get.
The following list shows some of the services you receive every month from an IT Services company that you hire:
- A server – if you own one - is fully managed and monitored, desktops and data backed up, ensuring a “computer network that works” all the time
- Using car service as an analogy, imagine your mechanic, John, inspecting and maintaining your car every night to make sure it’s ready to go first thing in the morning. We do that for your computers. Now John does not inspect and maintain your car every night, does he? Nope!
- Your own IT Services department, with decades of experience, to call anytime for advice for all things technology
- Unlimited questions included in the monthly fee
- The actual cost, per hour, is less than paying minimum wage. How many employees do you have, with our qualifications, that work for minimum wage each month, with no benefits or time off?
- Restoring deleted files, folders or mailboxes: Included in your monthly fee
- Client service portal to create and track service tickets. Included in your monthly fee
- IT Services that resolve issues for you, not for themselves
- IT Services that take responsibility for all your technology, not just computers
- And much more
Do yourself a favor and at least check it out. DTS InfoTech can help.
We’re good at IT Services. Seriously, we are. It’s how we make our living.
On the other hand, most small businesses do not have the expertise, technical resources, or time to understand all this geek stuff. If you’re still using the Excel Expert as your in-house IT and this describes you, we can help. But if you don’t believe this stuff, first, you will have to pull your head out of the sand.
If you would like more information, please give us a call, we’re always happy to chat, and the call is free!
Dedicated to your success,
dts|infotech . . . secure computer networks that work