Business IT Poison

by | Mar 10, 2011 | Business

Business IT problems are business poison. They are toxic. Not only do you have to spend resources dealing with them, but more importantly, you also have the opportunity cost(s) of what could have been accomplished with your business without these problems. These opportunity costs are so often overlooked at an incredible cost.

Of course, this is a familiar problem for Smart Dolphins as every IT problem has an opportunity cost. If a law firm with 10 lawyers has a server fail and they are only able to work at 50% capacity for two days, the costs associated with the IT Provider’s products and services to fix the problem are probably insignificant compared to 10 lawyers losing three billable hours (assumption is 6 billable hours per day is the lawyers’ normal capacity) at $150 per hour for two days (opportunity cost = $9,000).

Of course, the more common and much worse situation is having many small, frequent problems, over a longer period of time. If those same 10 lawyers spend a year working at 95% because of a bunch of small, ongoing problems, the opportunity cost adds up to over $100,000. However, often no single problem is big enough to cause anyone to look to change the situation. This waste is just the norm and it is accepted.


Too many business people think their IT costs are summarized nicely on the invoices of their IT service provider. This is just a subset of the overall costs that need to be considered. Similarly, too often Smart Dolphins has the opportunity to help a situation like the lawyer-example above. We convince the prospective client that we will indeed greatly improve this type of problem. There is little doubt of this once we get a chance to talk about how we do things differently. We can even walk through the math of their own situation.

They don’t make a change.

We charge more than their “current guy” and that is a really difficult pill to swallow. Not knowing the intricacies of what it takes to lower the overall IT costs for businesses, some decision makers feel we should be able to create a better result for the same price. Simple! If it was easy, everyone would be doing it for cheap.

Regardless of the inputs required, wouldn’t you spend an extra $1 to save $10? The insidious business poison that exists is forgotten and that extra dollar is so very tangible. “But it’s a dollar more.”

No, it’s $9 less.