by David Moorman, President
When implementing an IT solution, do you figure just hardware, software and manhour costs, or do you take it a step further and calculate the soft costs involved in a purchase, too?
You'd be wise to take the latter approach, because soft costs can add up quickly.
A managed IT solution (such as the one my company happens to market) can save small- and mid-sized businesses nearly 60% versus an internal IT department and 20% when compared to an outsourced solution. In fact, those savings may be on the conservative side because we tended to overstate actual costs.
In addition to those hard costs, there are other items that should be factored into the cost equation:
-- Downtime: Internal and outsourced IT systems will need to be brought down for periodic maintenance or may experience a catastrophic failure. A managed system can offer guaranteed up time, giving you peace of mind.
-- Spam: Fighting spam can take up a considerable amount of time when the inevitable outbreak occurs. With an IT services contract, internal staff does not need to worry about it.
-- Systems training: While there may be some need for training in the managed services scenario, staff will not need nearly as much hardware- and software-specific training.
-- IT management: These costs are calculated as a percentage of infrastructure costs. Since overall infrastructure costs are lower, management costs will be lower, too.
-- Non-business Internet usage: A managed solution allows you to control how employees surf the Web, decreasing productivity loss due to unnecessary Internet use.
While the hard costs savings seen when comparing a managed solution to internal or outsourced models are impressive, soft cost savings add up quickly also.