6 Most Costly IT Mistakes for SMBs


Ignore these costly IT mistakes, learn the hard way, and your wallet and business will suffer. Learn from these, and increase your revenue and keep costs predictable as possible.

I have spent the majority of my life getting over my fears and learning from mistakes, of which I have made many. One of my life missions is to help others avoid the mistakes I’ve seen or made.

1) Not knowing how long it takes to restore an entire server from backup
Results: Huge surprises, stress, lost sleep, revenue losses, loss of customers
To do: You should know exactly how long it takes to restore files or servers (+/- 30 mins), and test restores regularly

2) Not knowing the true cost of down time
Results: Serious value could be missed when evaluating one IT decision vs another
To do: Cost of Down Time = internal labor costs/hr X hours of down time PLUS labor hours lost X revenue/hour PLUS labor costs to repair. Compare that number to cost of being proactive/using remote monitoring.

3) Assuming reactive decisions are cheaper than proactive ones
Results: In 15 years of managing IT for SMBs, the benefits of proactive IT management are hard to measure, but well worth it.
To do: Hire a group that is proactive; You’ll spend about the same amount of money but revenue will be higher and stress lower.

4) Underestimating security concerns
Results: Putting something back together that is broken ALWAYS takes significantly more time than it did to break it. And then there are the Humpty Dumpty moments where you have to start from scratch. Any holes in your plan can compromise the reliability you’re after.
To do: Make sure your security plan is comprehensive. Include compliance requirements, active firewall management, anti-virus AND anti-malware software, automated software security updates, regular log reviews, network and security vulnerability assessments, and encrypted backups in your plan.

5) Paying for per use instead of unlimited use
Results: You pay monthly for health insurance to avoid the higher cost of hospital stays. Why would you not protect your business the same way?
To do: Examples – Get unlimited backup (local and cloud), Get unlimited phone support 24x7x365, Get fixed pricing as much as possible.

6) Holding on to the vine too tightly
Results: The most successful businesses in history focus on their strengths and find experts to support them in the areas that aren’t their strengths. Your family and health reap the benefits.
To do: Check references, find a group that you trust and start focusing your energy on what increases your bottom line. Leave the increasing complexity of IT to the experts.

Our sense is that SMBs are spending time struggling with IT problems that have already been solved. I believe our web site will help you make smarter decisions when choosing an IT provider, whether it’s us or not.  We want your business to thrive by not making costly IT mistakes, and hope you can learn something from our experience.

By Russell Shulin, MCSE
Published on LinkedIn