Mistake #1: Having a "Set it and Forget it" Mentality FPA Technology Services, Inc.
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Mistake #1: Having a Set it and Forget it Mentality

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I was recently asked by a new prospect what I thought were some of the most important things to keep in mind when dealing with technology for a small business.  Immediately, my mind went into a flurry of thoughts - from backup to security to over extending life-cycles to under-funding to over-simplifying requirements.  I was a whirling dervish before I sat down and documented all of my concerns.  So far I've come up with a Baker's dozen of "mistakes" negatively impact technology that we see over and over again when we take on a new client.  I thought this would make for a great series to share, so (and in no particular order) here's "Mistake" #1:

Having a "Set it and Forget it" Mentality

This is probably the most common mistake small businesses make with their technology and probably one of the hardest habits to break. Make no mistake about it: hardware and software require routine and regular maintenance.  Without it, it's only a matter of time before something bad will happen.  Unfortunately, small business owners bring their consumer mind-set when viewing their technology.  Because most small businesses start out as a one or two person shop, they're still carrying around the mentality of a single, home user.  Unfortunately, it's hard to shed this mentality as the business grows and the technology needs grow with it.  As a consumer, they've been sold all along that their computing needs are the same as the cell phones they carry in their pockets.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Every large business knows this.  Unfortunately, it usually takes a serious blow to their systems before it trickles down to the small business owner. 

Think of your IT infrastructure as you would your car. If you forget to put oil in it or keep up the regular service, your engine will die. Servers, workstations, and related software applications need continual care and maintenance so that they can perform at optimal levels. Similar to a car, the more time and energy you spend in caring for your systems, the better they will perform and the longer they will last.  This has been proven time and time again.  Unfortunately, too many small business owners are penny-wise and pound-foolish when it comes to their IT.


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This was really an interesting one and I like to say that keep posting and entertaining us.
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Some don't get past it until they get burned by it themselves, while others may never get past it. I'm a big believer in "you get what you pay for" and this turns out to be no truer than when spending on technology.
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In fact of the SMBs that view IT as critical, 60 percent saw revenues grow over the past 12 months. In contrast, among SMBs that stated IT is not important, less than 29 percent saw revenue increase.
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For example, as I discussed in my previous blog, everything requires ongoing maintenance and administration - so there are always related costs to anything you implement. This (ongoing maintenance and administration) is one of the most significant components of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). Again, being penny-wise and pound-foolish means doing something like buying a firewall from Fry's that's meant for your home computer rather than your business.
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It's one thing to aim to be "better" than our competitors, but it's another to be seen as "Best in Class". This not only goes to the services we provide, how we deliver those services, the value we provide, but ultimately to the performance of our company as a business. Being in business for 17+ years, we've seen a lot of trends come and go.
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This mistake is one of the hardest for some clients to get past. Some don't get past it until they get burned by it themselves, while others may never get past it. I'm a big believer in "you get what you pay for" and this turns out to be no truer than when spending on technology.
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The same goes for risk evaluation in the "real" world. I don't know how many clients we talk to on a daily basis who decide things based only on the risk involved and NOT truly taking into consideration the impacts of that risk.
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About the Author
Craig Pollack
Craig Pollack Blog Profile Image Craig is the Founder & CEO of FPA Technology Services, Inc. Craig provides the strategy and direction for FPA, ensuring its clients, their business owners, and key decision makers leverage technology most effectively to achieve their business objectives. Craig focuses on ensuring that the technologies implemented by clients are "business centric" and key components of their businesses' success, and that this approach is shared by every staff member of FPA.
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