Information technology is a complex component of the business world. Unless you come from an IT background, you probably don't have exhaustive knowledge in the field. And even with experience, you're up against an IT landscape that changes at a rapid pace.
Because the IT world is so enigmatic, many preconceived notions and myths exist. The reality is that an acceptance of such myths may be skewing your IT strategy and keeping your company from getting the IT support you need.
The following are the three biggest myths about IT services and support, along with the corresponding realities to improve your strategic approach:
IT Support Is Reactive
Myth: “I don’t need IT support unless something is wrong.”
Of course, you should be able to rely on tech support to fix problems when they arise. From an Internet outage to your server going down – or even an individual computer freezing – your IT team should be capable of getting systems back up and running.
But waiting until you have a problem is an inefficient and costly way to do business. It results in a loss of time, productivity and money. According to a Forrester Research study, 86 percent of employees lose roughly 18 hours a month due to "IT friction".
These IT issues translate to roughly five weeks each year and represent a 10 percent loss in productivity. Moreover, the average annual cost for each “normally” impacted employee is approximately $3,700.
Reality: A proactive IT strategy is the only kind of strategy. Reacting to a problem isn’t strategic by any definition of the word. You need to be able to rely on the support of an IT partner not only for those reactive situations, but also for assessing your current technology and processes and finding ways to prevent issues from arising down the line.
IT Transitions Are Too Painful
Myth: “I won’t be able to easily transition my IT services or provider.”
There’s no such thing as an easy transition in business. Any change, whether it’s related to IT services or company culture, is going to cause you some amount of discomfort. But with the right internal IT team or external IT consultant, the process of change doesn't have to be so painful.
More importantly, letting short-term pains affect your long-term strategy is only going to hurt your business. If adopting new IT systems is the means to a more efficient organization, the change must be embraced.
Reality: Your real pain is reflected in your bottom line by way of hidden costs incurred by inefficiency. The right internal IT team or external partner takes the time to analyze your current IT processes and develop a plan for transitioning you to a substantially more efficient IT environment with as little pain as possible. In addition, the right provider establishes a long-term plan for your IT processes that maximizes your business productivity.
IT Consultants Want to Maximize Billable Hours
Myth: “IT support always finds a reason to add to their billable hours.”
As is the case with many types of consulting practices, IT consultants typically bill at an hourly rate. There’s a thought that some consultants put as many people on one account as possible to maximize the billable hours for that project. The focus is on selling, not helping.
Reality: There are dishonest people and companies out there, no matter the industry. But professional IT consulting firms make an upfront effort to make sure that both parties are clear and in agreement about the scope of a project. A good IT partner is more concerned with your long-term partnership than with quickly maximizing billable hours. In reality, a trustworthy and effective relationship between you and your IT consultant is far more beneficial for both parties in the long run. Don’t let the fear of a dishonest partner skew your IT strategy. Take every measure to ensure that your partner is one worth building a relationship with.