Technology can be a great enabler to a business. Why else would we invest our valuable time, money and effort in something if it didn’t bring us value? Yet all too often, the utopian view of technology sold with the box is diminished over time. When it doesn’t work as we’d expected it becomes a source of frustration, a necessary evil, an expense to be swallowed. When this view is shared with those you trust to keep the wheels turning, the bill you pick up each month may be only the head of a much larger, uglier beast.
To help you avoid what lies beneath, here are four areas you may wish to consider when calculating the true cost of technology.
Supporting the Workforce
Ever been bounced around a call centre, looking for answers but getting nothing but Greansleeves, or wanted a reassuring voice but got voicemail? Ever been told that something or someone else is to blame? Issues are inevitable from time to time, but if the workforce is actively supported, the impact is considerably lessened and these issues don’t tend to become expensive and time-consuming problems.
The Day After Tomorrow
When something stops working, worst case scenario is that part or all of your business grinds to a halt. The technology you’ve come to depend on now presents a roadblock. The opportunity cost of lost time, production and revenue resulting from technology failure is rarely anticipated or budgeted for. Yet when networks are not proactively and competently managed, the only real uncertainty is when, not if disruption and cost will transpire.
Reputation is Everything
The service you provide your clients is only as good as the service you receive as a client. Be it internal or external service providers you rely upon to keep things running smoothly, interruption to business can lead to embarrassment, damaged customer loyalty and tarnished reputation. Although such costs are largely intangible, they shouldn’t be dismissed or taken lightly. Whether you run into, resolve or (hopefully) avoid problems, large or small, consider the value your technology provides to the workforce and consequently, your clients.
Forget About the Price Tag
It’s false economy to by a cheap setup with a limited life expectancy. By the same token, it doesn’t take a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. If you’re not sure it’s appropriate for the job it’s required to do and can’t get a simple answer, chances are it’s not. When investing in technology, be sure to bear in mind the desired result and the factors crucial to its success or failure. While initial outlay is important, the true cost of investment includes all of the resources that will go into keeping it working of the course of its life expectancy.
In summary, when considering the true cost of technology it is important to look beyond the bill you pick up at the end of the month, be it for new assets, ongoing management or problem resolution. Yes, this is important, but only when evaluated against the actual returns demonstrated. Take into consideration the far-reaching ways in which your technology and support impacts your business, the ability of your workforce to perform, and the service received by your clients. This will help you make more informed decisions about how and where you invest, and ensure control over costs remains firmly in your hands.