DIY IT could create wide scale IT infrastructure problems and cybersecurity risks
Charlie Goulding

Member Article

SMEs overspending by 100% with DIY IT

Many professional services firms are billing fewer hours due to taking on DIY IT

SMEs may think they are saving money by not having an IT support partner in place, but when employees take on DIY IT, the loss of billable hours may end up costing firms 100 per cent more.

Through research and focus groups carried out with professional services businesses, Surrey-based IT support company Greencorn, has established that where IT support partners are not in place, companies are relying on lawyers and accountants to fix IT when they get into technical difficulties.

To give an example of the quantity of IT support required, five of Greencorn’s Surrey based law firm customers have, over the past 100 days, posted 230 tickets to Greencorn, which has equated to 106 hours of work. Using an example rate of £250 an hour, DIY IT could have collectively cost each of these law firms £19,345 in lost hours over the cost of a year, as well as undefined costs surrounding project delays on the client side. The same size firm would require £9,000 per annum to outsource the same IT support.

You’d be amazed how many lawyers and accountants are spending too much time in their control panel widgets trying to solve technical problems themselves and we’ve seen it all firsthand. True, engaging with an IT support partner is not free, but think about how the implementation of a robust IT support and monitoring infrastructure can work to grow a business. Simply put, when not taken up with fixing IT issues, employees can spend more time with their clients.

Added to the actual man hour cost, DIY IT also carries the risk of inflicting wide scale IT infrastructure problems and cybersecurity risks to the organisation, as well as the time lost on assessing, addressing and implementing guesswork IT fixes.

It’s important to look at the broader implications of DIY IT and the risks it introduces in to an organisation with 2014 having been such a monumental year for cyber attacks, affecting not only individuals, but also internet giants such as eBay.

Malcolm Bell, Partner at Epsom based Harold Bell & Co. has said; “Since, by chance, we discovered Greencorn, our IT lives have been transformed. Virtually all our problems have been solved before we have discovered them or are already being dealt with. Its staff are all pleasant, approachable, helpful and well informed. They always seem to have the answer to our problems. IT concerns are a thing of the past.”

Using our example of the £250 hourly rate, a team of 15 lawyers can generate a loss of £3,750 if they cannot access email even for one hour, let alone one day. Their client data is also at risk due to poor backup systems, a firm may face a recovery disaster that could threaten to close their business.

I’d be interested to hear how you fix IT issues within your company and whether DIY IT is giving you a headache?

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Charlie Goulding .

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