It’s a worst-case scenario we hate to see.
A business hires an IT provider they feel they can trust. Things are running smoothly month to month until some unexpected expenses start to pop up. The server bites the dust. The laptops need a massive software upgrade. Without a long-term plan, the business must pay for each expense as it occurs. And the expenses just keep coming.Individually, they don’t seem like much, but added all together, it’s actually thousands of dollars. The business doesn’t feel prepared for these expenses, and they lose their trust in their Calgary IT provider, who failed to make a long-term plan. Ultimately, the relationship is ruined.
With good planning, IT costs shouldn’t come as a shock
Like many services, IT comes with costs that vary according to the size of your business and the complexity of your system. With good planning and budgeting, these costs should be manageable and shouldn’t normally come up all at once.
But unexpected costs are another story.
Here are just some of the unexpected costs our clients encounter:
- after-hours support
- audits from vendors
- recovery from a hacking or virus attack
- email system upgrades
- a hardware failure not covered by warranty.
These can be particularly pricey because not only do you need to purchase equipment or services on the spot, your productivity takes a dive when your staff can’t work. You may not know the exact number associated with a loss of productivity, but it will affect your bottom line.
You need to anticipate future IT upgrades
When TWT onboards a client, we map out an 18-month roadmap for the client to understand where their technology is going. An IT partner needs to look at the full picture of your business and the technology you use in order to plan effectively.
This will help the IT provider anticipate any upcoming costs like hardware upgrades (new phones or computers), or system overhauls.
Something like after-hours support in the event of an emergency can be a large expense. Many monthly plans include after-hours support in their fee structure. If a client chooses a plan that doesn’t include support, we’re very open about the fact that our time is billable if we’re working in an emergency. This helps our clients plan for an emergency.
A solid plan will help you manage costs and spread out expenditures according to your IT budget. It will also save you money in the long term.
Share your plans for growth
On the flip side, a business needs to make sure they communicate their plans for growth with their IT provider.
If you’re adding new employees in the next few months or upgrading to a bigger, more dynamic office space, your provider needs to know so that they can factor in any new costs in your 18-month plan. They’ll do their best to make sure you’re not spending any more than you have to.
Still feeling nervous about unexpected IT costs? Give us a shout.
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