5 Common Symptoms your company is suffering DIY IT.

Professional, strategic IT support comes with associated costs, but will drive profits beyond any other investment. Find out more...

Is IT just a cost centre? 

Throughout the economic downturn, when costs had to be stripped back, many business owners incorrectly classed IT as a ‘non-essential’. Now, organisations are facing the consequences of that under-investment in overarching IT strategy.

We see five common symptoms caused by DIY IT again and again. Are you suffering any of these problems? If so, your team could be guilty of DIY IT.

Symptom 1: Outages

Your internet, phone system or power going down is a hassle, of course. As more and more businesses embrace internet collaboration tools like Google Apps and online software like Xero, there’s little to do offline except thumb twiddling. 

But hassle aside, calculating employees’ hourly rates wasted could make a business owner weep... 0.1% downtime is more than 8 hours a year...

Symptom 2: Data loss danger

A fire, a terrorist attack, or even just a server failure; your data and intellectual property are likely your company’s most valuable asset. Even if data is backed up, retrieving it can be complex; eating up time (and patience) you don’t have. 

Without good advice, it’s very difficult to ensure you’re storing data using the most cost-effective, safe and up-to-date technology. Only 6% of companies survive longer than two years after losing data.

Symptom 3: Employees fixing their own computers

Nearly every business across the country has ‘that guy who’s good with computers’ - he or she isn’t officially IT support, but they spend most of their time under desks wrangling with colleagues’ wires anyway. 

Although this is common, you’re not saving money by doing this; in fact, it can be harmful to your business. Whatever their IT skills, that employee is worth far more to you in the role they were hired to do. 

29% of US office workers said problems such as lost files, slowness and crashes are the top reason for reduced productivity in the office

Symptom 4: Doors open to cyber crime

As we’ve discussed, data loss can be very damaging. Even worse, people are trying to steal your data.

The consequences of losing customer data are hard to calculate. Of course, the EU has introduced fines; but these pale in comparison to the PR damage caused by a breach of customer information. Cyber criminals’ motives and methods are changing all the time, so expert advice is recommended.

Sony was fined £250,000 ($396,100) following a "serious breach" of the Data Protection Act.

Symptom 5: Training opportunities missed

Some people love new gadgets and apps. The rest of us, left to our own devices, would still be merrily sending faxes and watching Betamax. In caves.

Employees need to have their boundaries pushed. New software is being developed every day which could dramatically improve the way they work and collaborate. An IT expert who can point you to these tools - and train your staff to make sure they don’t just gather cyberdust - is worth their weight in gold. 

Of all the CRM project problems reported, we found the most significant threat to be slow user adoption.
— Bill Band, Principal Analyst, Forrester

Ready for the cure? 

The obvious advantage of good IT support, which is hard to list in pounds sterling, is sleeping soundly! As a busy business owner, it’s a relief to forget the office aches and pains and concentrate on what you do best; growing a healthy organisation.

Technology should support your staff to help them work and collaborate effectively and creatively. If your business isn’t supported by an expert, business-minded IT team, you may not be able to keep up with competitors.