We’ve all heard the phrase, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. When it comes to your business’s information technology, the phrase works better a little differently - “if it’s not broke, it still needs attention”. Not quite as catchy, but it has the advantage of being true - and following it will save your business time, money, and headaches.
As humans, we’re built to prioritize, especially when it comes to time and money. We’ll listen to that squeaky icemaker in the fridge for months before taking action, waiting until it freezes up or stops making ice. Many of us ignore that grinding noise in our car, drowning it out with the radio until the check engine light comes on (or it stops working completely.)
The problem with this attitude is that it results in needing a whole new fridge and a multi-thousand dollar car repair when both could have been fixed easily and affordably if tackled early. By avoiding a small service bill or maintenance plan on the front end, we’re left with hefty costs and lengthy repairs, both of which are bad for your life - and your business.
When it comes to your information technology, being proactive is even more important. Many business owners use this “if it isn’t broke” mentality when it comes to their IT, choosing to wait until problems arise to address them. Using outdated software, leaving holes in your security plan, forgoing routine maintenance - these are all examples of ways that business owners neglect their IT systems and leave themselves vulnerable to bigger problems down the road.
And those problems can be huge. Take a look at some of the negative effects a reactive IT approach can have on your business:
Negative effects of a reactive IT plan
Longer repair times
The worse the problem, the longer (and more expensive) fixing it can be. Wait too long and you could be looking at days, weeks, or even months of downtime for repairs - and that’s after you get the service call!
Plugging the hole won’t fix the dam. Until the underlying problem is fixed, you’ll continue having the same issues again and again.
Inadequate or outdated systems
Technology systems are constantly evolving to tackle changing issues. Without proper maintenance and updates, you could be using outdated or inadequate systems that make you vulnerable to security issues and future problems.
When problems do arise, they’ll need to be fixed quickly. This leaves you stuck using whatever repair company can do the job, often resulting in large bills and rush fees that can take you seriously over your budget.
Bad business image
If your technology isn’t working, or you’re stuck with long periods of downtime to fix it, it could hurt your business image in the eyes of customers and employees.
As you can see, taking a reactive approach to your information technology can open the door to serious, long-lasting problems for your business. Luckily, there’s another way! Here’s how being proactive can help strengthen your IT department:
Benefits of a Proactive IT Approach
Lower IT costs
A proactive plan keeps your IT costs low and allows you to anticipate them more accurately, leading to easier budgeting and bigger profits.
Keeping your IT systems updated and running smoothly lowers your risk of cyberattack, data theft, system disruptions, and more.
When your technology works the way it should, you’ll experience increased productivity and fewer glitches/downtimes. Because your systems run smoothly, it’s easier for employees to work quickly, happily, and efficiently.
If your business is subject to HIPAA or other digital requirements, a proactive IT approach is necessary to stay on the right side of the law.
Peace of mind
Why spend your time waiting for the digital shoe to drop when you can rest assured that your IT plan is solid, proactive, and ready to handle future issues?
The good news is, changing your mindset about how you approach your business IT can have you reaping the benefits and rewards of a proactive plan. To start, you’ll need to draw up a business technology plan.
What’s a technology plan?
A technology plan is more than just making a schedule of when you should change your equipment or download updates. A technology plan lays out where you are today and determines how, and when, your company will utilize technology to meet its future goals, boost its productivity, and secure its data.
Think of it like planning for a road trip - you’ll need to know how you’re getting there (what tools/software you’ll need), what route you’ll take (IT solutions and providers), where you’ll stop along the way (your business goals), who’s traveling with you (your IT leaders and staff), and how much it will cost (your IT budget). This may seem overwhelming, but it’s a crucial part of your strategic business plan, and it’s easier than you think! Here are some things to remember:
- Start by assessing where your company is now, what products and plans it uses, and how it’s working
- Tailor your IT tools and solutions to best meet your business needs and goals
- Plan for the long-term with an IT roadmap that spans 3-5 years
- Use appropriate resources to strengthen and shape your IT plan
- Use both hard and soft costs to make an accurate budget
Ultimately, the way you handle your information technology is up to you. Choosing to stay ahead of the game with a solid, proactive approach is a smart choice for business owners who want to save time, reduce costs, and increase productivity. But there will always be those who choose a different route - just don’t delete that expensive one-time repair company off your speed dial.
Want to choose the smarter approach? We can help! As your managed IT partner, Business Information Solutions offers a variety of tools and solutions wielded by our expert IT staff to keep your business running smoothly 24/7. Contact us today to learn more!
Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.
About BIS Technology Group
BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing, Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.
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