Have you ever heard that saying…
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”?
The ROI on DIY IT Services?
Today, with a few clicks and a credit card, you can quickly and easily purchase most cloud computing small business software programs. You can build your own PC on the Dell website – or pick one up at Best Buy.
Why would you hire someone to advise these purchasing decisions when you can save the money and do it yourself (DIY)? Wouldn’t you get better return on investment (ROI) by buying technology on your own.
Well, you certainly can buy your computers and software on your own, and often our clients do. And actually, we have no problem with that.
We want our clients to save money where they can!
However…it doesn’t always turn out well. Clients buy the wrong thing, it doesn’t work with the rest of their IT environment, and it ends of costing them more time, money and frustration.
When in doubt, ask!
Picking the right small business software
In a prior post, we talked about the importance of having API access in your small business software but that’s really only one consideration. We have had Mac-based clients who buy software only to find that it doesn’t work with the Apple operating system or buy software that doesn’t have a good mobile app and mobile is a requirement.
There are literally thousands of small business software products on the market today, so knowing which one is right for you is going to take some time and effort to research. Fortunately, as a Michigan IT services company that works with lots of small and mid-sized businesses, we’ve usually seen and heard the good and bad of many of these solutions. We can steer you in the right direction, and ask the right questions, so when you purchase software, you are confident that is the RIGHT software for your business.
Contrary to what the software review sites and computer magazines may say, there is no BEST small business software, it’s all about getting the right fit for your company’s goals.
Buying new computers, laptops and mobile devices
You can buy good computers at Best Buy. The question is whether you’re buying the right computer for your business needs. It’s easy to get sucked into the sizzle, spending big bucks to buy a machine with all the bells and whistles when you only need a simple machine. The flip side is “buying cheap” and then having a system that runs slow, can’t be upgraded/expanded and doesn’t have the features or performance you need.
In either scenario, a short phone conversation with your IT support team would have given you the answers you needed.
Computers come with lots of options, and they are always changing. Know what you need before you enter the store. We’ll help you figure out the answers to questions like:
- How much memory do you need? Can more be added later?
- What’s the difference between processors?
- Do you need a graphics card?
- Is a solid-state hard drive worth the extra expense?
- What ports / how many / what kind?
Do your homework or ask the IT experts. Time or money. It’s always a tradeoff.
Settling for inefficient processes
The most hidden cost of DIY IT services are the hidden inefficiencies. You don’t know it’s costing you money, because you never even considered that there might be an easier, more efficient way to approach the problem.
When we do an IT strategy road-mapping session, we try to find out:
- What are you doing today that you should not be doing?
- Where are you filling gaps with spreadsheets?
- Where are you missing opportunities?
- What could make your customers happier if you could provide it to them?
The questions differ from company to company.
When we do on-site Tech Checks, we often just observe things that make no sense to us as technologists, so we’ll ask…
- Why are you cutting and pasting leads from your website and pasting them into an Excel spreadsheet?
- Why are you sending marketing emails out through Outlook (then manually ‘unsubscribing’ everyone who bounces or asks to be taken off the list.)
- Why is it taking you 3 days to prepare that report, when it could be created automatically with a little bit of custom programming?
We’re all about saving money. We just want you to save smart, and realize that DIY (do-it-yourself) does not always produce ROI (return on investment.)
Want our help? Request a Tech Check!