Technology purchasing and their hidden costs

Poor decisions for technology purchasing can happen when a company buys products that do not meet their requirements properly. In larger organizations it can happen with things like cloud services, enterprise software and hardware and phone systems. For smaller organizations this commonly will occur when management does not engage their IT computer support consultant early enough in the decision making process.
Your IT consultant makes hardware and software recommendations for their clients on a daily basis that they are constantly researching, evaluating and deploying systems processed that are tailored to their clients needs. I good consultant will proactively engage their clients and be aware of current requirements as well as future growth plans. This is a lot of work and sometimes people take short cuts. This article looks at the hidden costs of those short cuts from three different but related perspectives.

Financial Cost
The most obvious cost of poor technology purchasing is financial. You are overpaying if you buy the wrong product because it will simply not meet your business needs. Upgrades or third-party products to get around limitations waste money. Even more money is wasted if the product is later replaced. In many companies they simply cannot bring themselves to replace a problem purchase, as a result the ill-fitting product may hang around for years.
With software, the old system often works in parallel with a new system for a while, and then changes to an archival state with minimal maintenance. However, if the new system does not fully replace the old system, then the full costs of maintaining the old system remains (e.g. licenses and maintenance fees). There can also be considerable consulting costs to get both working properly together.

Time Cost
Poor technology purchasing also waists time. Staff and your Network computer consultant are so busy solving problems caused by bad purchasing, they do not have the time to do the work required to ensure good purchases going forward. This results in taking short cuts and focusing on trying to resolve issues with the current purchase. This in turn just perpetuates the problem.
Your staff spends time on technical problems like hardware issues, or trying to stretch the product configuration to meet business needs. often third-party products are required to make up for missing features, and that takes time to research, install and maintain. After purchasing a new software system, the goal is to retire the old system, but sometimes that old system lives on. If there are upgrades, e.g. as with software systems, now two systems must be upgraded taking extra time every upgrade cycle.

Opportunity Cost
Opportunity cost is very difficult to quantify, but it is definitely a very real cost.  The company is distracted by internal problems and they miss new business opportunities.
The most practical way to avoid poor technology purchasing is to ensure you thoroughly understand the business and technical requirements, and then pick the product that best meets those requirements. Small businesses need to engage their IT consultants as early as possible in the decision making process. Even if the project does not seem to be within the area of IT, most systems within a business will interact with the computer network infrastructure.

One common example is installing a Voice or IP or VOIP phone system. A VOIP system can adversely impact not only the existing Internet connection, but can lead to IP address conflicts and can degrade the overall performance of the computer network. This will lead to having to quickly install stop gap fixes to allow not only the computer network but also the VOIP system. Adding bandwidth to the internet connection of having to replace it all together can result in having to buy their way out of existing contracts.

The benefit of successful technology purchases really does have a better return on investment. When the technology just works, staff stresses are reduced. The staff is allowed to focus on their job rather than having to continually focus on working around the system to get work done.

For businesses based in Southern California or with an office in So Cal, Advanced Network Consulting offers on-site and remote network and server support.  If your business needs assistance, feel free to give us a call.  ONE HOUR FREE network evaluation is offered for new clients.

Specializing in Microsoft based solutions, we offer years of expertise in Windows Servers, Exchange, SQL Server as well as a deep knowledge or general networking. Advanced Network Consulting is your one stop computer consulting solution provider.  From network cabling and office relocation, server, desktop and laptop installations to staff training, troubleshooting, upgrades and everything in between, Advanced Network Consulting can provide the solution your business is looking for.