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What is IT exactly? Expense or Asset

All things in business evolve. So sorry for stating the obvious and dressing it in the garb of a newsflash, but I couldn’t think of a better way to start this post. All things in business evolve. With this evolution we adapt or dissolve; we move forwards or regress. Usually, it’s the vision of business leaders and the culture of agility they’ve forged within their organizations that separates those who find successes within the challenges of evolution from those who flounder and perish.

Here's a question for you to consider: Is IT an expense or an asset? When asked, most CEOs immediately respond, “expense.” And why shouldn’t they? There are significant costs to implementing an adequate IT solution. In fact, since the days we managed to pull ourselves up out of the primordial soup, IT has masqueraded as an expense. The books have IT living in the expenses column. There’s no shortage of dollars thrown at hardware—to procure it, manage it and maintain it. Using dollars and other costly incentives we’ve hired dedicated, highly trained and specialized staff to take care of IT. And we throw bugs-bunny money at clouds and any number of services that form the technological foundation empowering our core business activities.

Here’s an evolution—a paradigm shift to consider: IT is an asset! And not just the hardware you’ve invested in, but the MSP you’ve outsourced management and maintenance of your infrastructure to; or the staff you’ve hired; and the services that you subscribe to.

Perhaps in the days of old when paper was king, and it required burley folks, and someone named dolly to move files—perhaps then it was ok to view IT as an expense. But in 2018, such is the case no longer. Human beings and businesses alike have passed the point of no return. As technology permeates every aspect of our working lives (and nearly every aspect of our personal lives), empowering us to do and accomplish the incredible and amazing things we do, the real expense stems from the outages—when the tech is down. These expenses are real and far costlier than investing in IT as an asset, provided we take the correct approach.

Investing in Backup & Disaster Recovery (BDR) for business continuity is far less costly than the expense of recreating thousands of hours of work, reproducing the corporate record and intellectual property (provided it’s even possible to do so). The asset is the ability to return to normal operations within a target timeframe in the event of a hardware catastrophe, cyberattack, hack or data breach, and minimal down-time for your workforce.

Investing in the means to manage and apply operating system patches and updates to workstations and servers in a timely manner is far less expensive than trying to mitigate the exploits that can result from not doing so. The asset is productivity continuity and infrastructure security.

Investing in the service to secure your people’s devices within and outside of the corporate network, and to manage BYOD mobile devices should they be lost, stolen or compromised is far more economical than the costs and liabilities associated with inadequate security measures resulting in data loss and exfiltration.

It is easy to see that investing in a qualified IT team is actually an asset for any business that relies on tech to realise the goals of its core business activities. The MSP model—Managed Service Provider, is akin to having a dedicated IT staff in-house, only much less of an investment, with much greater ROI. You needn’t set aside dollars for professional development, benefits, vacation time and any of the other costs associated with in-house staff. You needn’t purchase desks, computers nor the office space needed to house them.

Just so that we have an understanding, here is the definition of MSP: Outsourced technical IT support, delivered under a service agreement that provides a guaranteed baseline of services at specified rates. Your MSP is your IT department and staff. Your MSP is familiar with your IT environment and infrastructure and able to arrive at resolutions quicker than the break-fix and on-demand hired-gun counterparts. Your MSP takes a proactive approach—preventative maintenance—to fix things before they break and spiral out of control. Think of changing the oil such that you don’t have to rebuild the engine. The goal is to prevent the costly and productivity-crippling downtime that will occur when things are not monitored and managed.

Shifting that paradigm just a smidgen such that a qualified Managed Service Provider is considered an asset, might just be one of your best investments in 2018.

Have you protected your assets? Contact INTECH today if you have any questions, or require any assistance shoring up your computer’s defences. We offer a host of Managed Services and Solutions that will help to keep your assets safe; ask us about integriTRUST, integriSHIELD or familySHIELD for details.

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