The far-reaching impacts of hiring subpar IT support and what you can do about it.

It's easy to get stuck in the mindset of accepting technology hiccups as a normal part of business, but sometimes, exploring other options might reveal a smoother path forward. Business owners should pause and evaluate whether their internal systems meet industry standards or hinder growth. Technology advances quickly; are you sure you’re keeping up?

The quality of IT support can be the difference between success and setbacks for a business. While choosing cheaper, subpar support may seem like a cost-saving move, it often leads to more significant expenses down the line. Poor support can result in avoidable downtime, productivity slumps, and heightened vulnerability to costly cyber threats.


What is it Costing You?

Downtime is one of poor IT support's most immediate and visible costs. When systems are down, employees can't work, leading to significant productivity losses. For example, customer service representatives might be unable to assist clients, sales teams might miss out on crucial opportunities, and essential data processing tasks might be halted.

According to a survey by Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, 98% of organizations report that a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000, with 81% indicating that the cost exceeds $300,000 per hour. While the cost may be less steep for small to mid-sized businesses, it is still substantial. Gartner estimates that the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute.

This high cost per minute can be attributed to several factors:

Lost Revenue: During downtime, sales transactions, online purchases, and other revenue-generating activities are halted.

Employee Productivity: When systems are down, employees are idle, leading to wasted hours and delayed projects.

Customer Impact: Inaccessible systems can frustrate customers, leading to lost business and damage to the company's reputation.

Emergency IT Costs: Rapid response and emergency repairs to get systems back online often come with a premium price tag.

Regulatory Penalties: Some industries face heavy fines if they fail to meet uptime requirements.

Data Loss and Recovery: Downtime can result in data loss, requiring extensive recovery efforts.

Considering these factors, the cost of downtime accumulates rapidly, making the investment in robust IT support essential to prevent such expensive disruptions.


Data Breaches and Security Risks

Security breaches are a significant risk of subpar IT support. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that cyber crime will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.

Companies with inadequate IT support are more vulnerable to these attacks, which can result in data breaches, loss of sensitive information, and severe reputational damage. 

It's crucial to understand that while IT and security are not the same, they are closely related. IT involves managing the infrastructure, applications, and services essential for business operations, while security focuses on protecting these assets from threats.

Effective IT support must include robust security measures to prevent cyber attacks and mitigate risks, demonstrating the interconnectedness of IT and security in maintaining organizational integrity.


Customer Satisfaction and Retention Issues

Customer satisfaction can plummet when IT issues disrupt services. A report by Microsoft states that 58% of customers will switch companies due to poor customer service experiences. If your IT support fails to maintain uptime and secure transactions, your customers will likely seek more reliable alternatives, directly impacting your revenue and growth.


Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Non-compliance with industry regulations due to inadequate IT support can result in hefty fines and legal consequences. IT plays a crucial role in helping small businesses achieve and maintain compliance with industry regulations. These regulations often involve stringent requirements for data protection, privacy, and secure transaction processing, which can only be effectively managed with robust IT systems.

Failing to comply with regulations such as GDPR, FTC, CMMC, or PCI-DSS can result in fines ranging from tens of thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the severity of the infraction and the size of the company.


Employee Morale and Turnover

Employee satisfaction is closely tied to the efficiency of the tools they use. According to a report by Udemy, 80% of employees cite poor technology as a reason for workplace stress. Consistent IT problems can lead to frustration, decreased morale, and costly higher turnover rates. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) notes that the average cost to replace an employee is six to nine months of their salary. High turnover can thus add significant costs to your business.


Long-Term Financial Impact

The financial ramifications of poor IT support extend beyond immediate losses. Companies with inadequate IT support often find themselves in a reactive mode, continually addressing crises rather than focusing on strategic initiatives.

This reactive approach leads to higher cumulative costs over time. A study by IDC found that companies with poor IT support spend 30% more on IT issues over a five-year period compared to those with robust IT systems. These additional costs stem from repeated troubleshooting, emergency repairs, and the inefficiency of piecemeal solutions.

From the outset, investing in robust IT support is not merely a discretionary business expense—it's a critical strategic investment that can profoundly impact a company's financial health and operational efficiency. While the upfront costs may seem significant, the long-term financial ramifications of inadequate IT support far exceed these initial expenditures.


Could an MSP be the Solution for You? 

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a company that remotely manages a customer's IT infrastructure and/or end-user systems, typically on a proactive basis and under a subscription model.

If you are already working with an MSP,  it is a good idea to get a regular third-party perspective through an assessment or scan to ensure they are doing a good job.

For businesses with existing in-house IT teams that may lack certain specialized skills or struggle to keep pace with evolving technologies, partnering with an MSP through a co-managed approach can provide invaluable support.

By collaborating with the internal IT staff, MSPs can fill knowledge gaps, offer mentorship, and supplement resources where needed. This hybrid model ensures that the organization benefits from the expertise of both the internal team, who possess deep institutional knowledge, and the MSP, who brings external perspectives and cutting-edge solutions to the table.

Together, they form a cohesive unit capable of tackling complex IT challenges, enhancing efficiency, and driving innovation. Maximize the effectiveness of IT operations to position your business for sustained and secure growth.

An MSP can be crucial in averting downtime and elevating your IT infrastructure to withstand modern cyber threats. Beyond basic troubleshooting, MSPs offer advanced maintenance services that proactively monitor your systems, identify potential issues before they escalate, and ensure smooth operations around the clock.

An MSP could take over the crucial responsibility of maintaining a strong cybersecurity strategy. MSPs deploy sophisticated tools and strategies to fortify your defenses, from implementing robust firewalls and encryption protocols to conducting regular vulnerability assessments and employee training sessions.

By entrusting these responsibilities to an MSP, businesses can offload the complexities of IT management and focus on their core objectives with confidence, knowing that their IT infrastructure is in capable hands. 


What’s Your Next Step?

The true costs of hiring subpar IT support are far-reaching and can severely impact your business’s bottom line. The hidden costs can add up quickly, from immediate financial losses due to downtime and data breaches to long-term effects on customer satisfaction, compliance, and employee morale.

Ensuring that your IT support is robust and reliable is crucial for maintaining productivity, security, and overall business health. As the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for," and in the realm of IT support, where reliance on technology is always increasing, cutting corners can prove to be an extraordinarily costly mistake.

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of top-notch IT support or the value of working with an MSP? 

Contact One Step Secure IT at 623-223-1997 or schedule a convenient appointment.