11 Ways Businesses Waste Their IT Investments

Here’s a quick list of the top 11 ways I’ve found that Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) misuse their Information Technology and waste their money:

Man with List

  1. Put your “server room” in the women’s restroom. (Yes… I saw this at one small business!)
  1. Wait until your new hire shows up to call the IT guy and notify him you need a computer, network jack and cell phone.
  1. When your printer dies go to Best Buy and pick a new one up without consulting your IT department first.
  1. “Plan” for your servers to last 5 years or longer.
  1. Always choose the value (cheap) option.
  1. Treat your IT department like they’re overhead rather than an enabler for productivity and revenue generation.
  1. Don’t consider business continuity and disaster recovery – a little downtime never hurt anyone…
  1. Build it and they will come.  Install a system for a need that doesn’t exist yet and that nobody wants because it has “great features.”
  1. Don’t provide ongoing technical training to your IT department.
  1. Don’t bother budgeting for equipment replacement and IT support.
  1. Wait until your equipment breaks to fix it instead of monitoring, preventively maintaining, and replacing it on a regular basis.

So, if your small or medium business has fallen victim to one or more of these what should you do?  Think first, plan for growth & failures, treat IT as a valuable asset rather than a money sink, find a good trusted advisor (CIO/CTO/consultant) and USE them.  It’s their job to think about this stuff.  If you need help finding a good consultant, just talk to other local business owners about who they use and interview three or four (or more!) before making your decision.

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