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IT "ain't broke"? You Should Fix That!

May 16, 2023
Reading Time: 4 mins
Author: Ray Sweeney

Everyone has heard the saying “If it ain't broke… don't fix it.” In fact, it's something we commonly hear from businesses with more to worry about than IT that isn't causing issues.

However, when it comes to IT in your business, this advice is outright damaging. No matter how confident you may be in the current setup, the reality is that there's always room for improvement, both big and small.

Making changes to something that "ain't broke" might seem like a luxury you can't afford. In this post however, we'll talk about the differences between "not broken" and "high performing". We will also highlight some of the risks tied to the apathy around this common sentiment.

Understanding IT as a Function of Your Business

Phrases you never hear business owners say:

  • Our slow sales are enough to remain solvent, we shouldn't push for any more.
  • Our customer service is average, I see no need to improve it.
  • We haven't had to make an insurance claim, there's no need to review our cover.

To be fair, owners with these opinions don't remain owners for long. However, in either case, they are categorically absurd statements. In a mature business, IT is just another function of the business, just like operations, sales, HR & finance. So why then do people treat IT differently?

Fundamentally this tends to be related to knowledge, understanding and visibility. Business leaders tend to focus on areas that they better understand. Inversely, they ignore functions (like IT) where they lack expertise and understanding.

This points to the first and most important area of improvement for an "ain't broke" setup; knowledge & visibility. Business leaders can leverage technology for huge gains when armed with the correct advice, visibility and recommendations from their IT service provider.

The Value Gap Between Working & Performing

Just because something isn't broken doesn't mean it's not costing you money. Likewise, the lost opportunity suffered from poor performance can be equally as damaging to an SMB.

According to a recent survey by Forbes, 90% of SMBs reported experiencing significant savings and efficiency gains when IT performs well. Our own observations show that SMBs have claimed as much as 70% productivity gain after making significant system improvements.

Poor performance can lead to decreased productivity, increased frustration from employees, poor customer service outcomes, as well as a variety of other issues. In fact, we have spoken to several businesses recently that claim to have lost staff due to their IT systems, claiming that the business has failed to provide them with the tools and resources to do their job.

When viewed in this light, you must reconsider what it means to be 'not broken'. The computers might turn on, but if it's costing you productivity, potential revenues & efficiency, one could argue IT is certainly broken.

The Snakes in the Grass

Unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss. Risks that could derail your business exist whether you are aware of them or not. As your business relies more and more on technology, the importance of security and reliability is ever-increasing.

Can your business continue in the dark? For many SMBs, the realisation that they have outgrown their existing IT service provider and the level of engagement they provide is starting to come to light.

Business leaders cannot make good decisions without adequate information and advice. Some common issues we see in "ain't broke" setups":

  • Backups exist and are monitored however, they are not routinely tested nor have any redundancy (see: Data Loss: Advice for SMB).
  • The company is insured against cyber attacks, however, in the event of a breach, the insurance may not pay out due to a lack of compliance with the agreed terms of the policy.
  • Significant money is being spent on cybersecurity tools & premium firewalls however the business has several critical gaps in its security practices (see: Password Best Practices).
  • The business believes its IT service provider is proactive in providing advice however when investigated, are commonly spending 20-30% more than required on their infrastructure (see: Reducing IT Expenditure).

All these items are fundamentally a result of a lack of maturity & involvement on the part of the IT service provider. Your IT service provider might be keeping things running, but that doesn't mean you are safe, secure and protected. As a leader, you should be aware of these risks.

Is What You're Doing Sustainable?

In summary, IT is no different from any other aspect of your business and deserves equal attention. Being “ain’t broke” or not "top of the list" doesn’t mean that there isn't an opportunity to make improvements.

Getting ahead of the game by reviewing outdated systems or seeking out new technologies can help you still gain a competitive advantage. Businesses that remain stagnant lose ground in the long run.

Lack of time and focus isn't a reason to fall behind. We help businesses by filling this gap, providing a competitive edge without getting in the way of other priorities. Perhaps it's time to consider that you may have outgrown your current IT service provider? (see: Dare to Compare).

Interested to understand what our definition of "not broken" looks like? You can book a brief chat with us to learn more.


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