How much are you spending on IT services? Are you spending too much, or not enough? How do you know, and how do you differentiate between spending too much, too little, or just enough? Today, the cost of technology is going down, and so is the amount to support your practice and your users. Technology is constantly changing, becoming more efficient, and cheaper but better. The trick is you need to keep investing in your network so you don’t have to incur a capital expense of changing everything all at once.
Have you actually thought about how much you are spending on IT services? Do you do an annual budget? If so, are you including all the right items? Would you easily be able to recognize if you were spending too much, too little, or just enought?
You are spending too much on your IT services if you are loaded with in-house staff. I understand the convenience, but like with anything else, there is a price for that convenience. So much of IT support is done remotely, that MSP’s can more efficiently run an IT department because of the staff, skill levels, tools and experience they have. An MSP (Managed Service Provider) can run an IT department, provide antivirus, antispyware, crypto prevent, and more for HALF the cost of an in-house IT department. But don’t worry about your IT folks finding another job! I’m sure an MSP will scoop them up!
Constantly calling the help desk? Constantly have printer issues? Server going down? Internet bouncing? These are all sure signs that you are not spending enough money on your IT infrastructure. You need to have solid workstations, solid printers, and of course, a solid internet connection. Let’s say you are $1000 per month under the average IT budget. How much per month does the down-time cost you? Invest in your network, and your IT support.
You’re spending just enough on your IT services when you have a solid network, minimum amount of support calls, and minimal, if any, downtime. If you are constantly budgeting a certain amount per month to invest in your network, you are doing the right thing. Come up with a hardware refresh program, new technology, improved technology that will keep you running smoothly. I don’t think there is such a thing as over spending when it comes to maintaining your network, and using a good, solid MSP.
Running a good solid network does not mean you have to over-spend. You can easily maintain a dependable network, using minimal resources and minimal dollars, if you just do it right. A part of that is keeping up with technology, and the other part is educating your users on good IT and security practices.
Sheryl Cherico is the CEO of Tier3MD, a medical IT support group headquartered in Atlanta, GA