Most professionals in small-to-medium sized businesses look at their IT as an expense. IT companies are usually judged based on how quickly they can react to outages and problems, and they are often compared based on price. One of the most common questions that we are asked when meeting a new prospect is “how quickly can you get here”. Our answer? “Well, very quickly, but that’s not what we’re about. We’re about providing you with a better end result overall.”

I don’t wait for my car to be broken before I call a mechanic. By doing that, I would just end up paying more for tow truck expenses and I’d be without my vehicle unexpectedly. Talk about an inconvenience. That could also force me to miss work or an important meeting. It costs me WAY more in the long run if I simply look at my vehicle as an expense and avoid taking care of it before the problems start. By servicing my vehicle regularly, I ensure that one of the most valuable tools in my life is always available when I need it, and it’s usually running at its best.

Technology is not a whole lot different. People are the biggest expense in most businesses, and most people are absolutely dependent upon technology in their workplace. Your IT costs are so much more than what you pay a technology service provider. Going back to the vehicle example for a moment, the real costs here were my time and the subsequent loss of productivity for me, not to mention the extra expenses incurred by paying for things like tow trucks.

In business, your technology outages cost you your employee salaries, lost revenue, reputation, and so much more. These are your true technology costs, and what you pay your IT provider will always be minimal in comparison.

Don’t measure your IT provider on how often you see them or on how quickly they respond to problems. Instead, ask them what they are doing for you to keep your business technology running smoothly in the first place. In a perfect world, you would never see your IT provider reacting to a problem; you’d see them working on prevention.