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The Small Business I.T. Hairball

It never surprises me when visiting small companies who’ve been in business for a few years – their I.T. infrastructure is a hairball of mixed operating systems, patches, switches, and other band aids that would make MacGyver proud.  I completely understand and I’ve been there.  You have better things to think about that whether or not your shoes match your belt.

Over time, as more things go wrong more often (server outage, data loss, loss of productivity, no sleep, etc.) small business owners begin looking for solutions.  Usually based on referrals they end up with “someone’s guy” or “the big dog” in town.  After picking themselves up off the floor when they get the big dog quote, they often make another strategic decision – DO NOTHING.  Maybe the pain and expense of the current situation isn’t that bad right?

Wrong.

There are other ways.  Try and do a real “Total Cost of Ownership” on your current I.T. situation.  Think of the opportunity cost of what you’re not doing while you solve I.T. problems.  Think about disaster recovery and back up and how you might have “stopped doing back ups daily ever since Joe quit” or whatever the excuse may be.

Once you’ve made yourself ill with that number start thinking about removing the pain.  If you’re a micro-enterprise, perhaps you can go full cloud with your business, i.e. use 100% hosted software and have nothing local.  You may even just be able to get away with having your email server (exchange server) hosted externally to save that pain and get all your mobile devices working.  Or, you may need to look at virtualizing your entire operation.  It’s easier than you think and allows for limitless expansion, remote working, running your windows desktop on your iPad, etc.

Whatever you do…DO SOMETHING!  Most businesses fail within 2 years of a catastrophic data failure.  Don’t be one of them.

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