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:
- Put your 8220;server room” in the women’s restroom. (Yes… I saw this at one small business!)
- Wait until your new hire shows up to call the IT guy and notify him you need a computer, network jack and cell phone.
- When your printer dies go to Best Buy and pick a new one up without consulting your IT department first.
- “Plan” for your servers to last 5 years or longer.
- Always choose the value (cheap) option.
- Treat your IT department like they’re overhead rather than an enabler for productivity and revenue generation.
- Don’t consider business continuity and disaster recovery – a little downtime never hurt anyone…
- 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.”
- Don’t provide ongoing technical training to your IT department.
- Don’t bother budgeting for equipment replacement and IT support.
- 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.