SMEs wasting time on IT

Small businesses risk wasting valuable business hours by repeatedly solving the same IT problems, Excalibur Communications Ltd is today warning.

Darren Beggan, head of professional services at Excalibur, says, “Recent research shows that 43 per cent of small business owners in the USA waste over a whole working day each month on technology problems[1]. In many ways I do not find this a surprising statistic as I have seen first-hand a plethora of SMEs in the UK wasting time repeatedly dealing with the same IT problems.”

Darren pinpoints this time wastage to the fact that many small businesses work with an IT provider on a reactive basis with an hourly rate financial agreement. Within these types of agreements, the provider uses a quick fix process, with the aim of resolving the problem as quickly as possible.

Darren explains, “The problem here is there is no investigation into the cause of the issue, meaning typically it will reoccur, resulting in increased business downtime and associated costs for repeatedly fixing the same problem. Small businesses must take a more proactive approach to IT support, and in turn free up their time to focus on core business activities.”

“When a business begins working with a proactive IT supplier, initially a free audit of the current IT set-up will be conducted. From this, the provider can make recommendations on how the business’s IT can be brought to a level that can be supported effectively. The first months of the relationship can be very time consuming from an IT perspective due to the level of initial work that needs to be carried out. The overall aim however is that the time spent resolving IT issues will be significantly reduced in the long term.

“Some businesses may question why there is any need for these monthly tasks to be completed if the IT has already been brought to a high level. However, I believe a business’s IT network should be likened to a car; to keep running efficiently it must be maintained and serviced on a regular basis. In doing so, glitches can be quickly identified and dealt with before they become an issue. The end result is a more robust network with increased availability over a longer period of time. This means growing businesses can focus on core activities rather than wasting valuable time on IT.”

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