How much are you willing to risk?
Good IT Management is a form of risk management. A balance has to be struck between the clients needs and the clients budget. Putting the funds available in the IT budget towards the right parts their infrastructure is crucial to success as a consultant and in building trust with your client.
Let’s take a look at two clients and how they interact with their customers:
Client A depends almost exclusively on email as their primary form of communication with their customers. If they cannot access their email they cannot get any work done. Their website needs are modest and nothing is bought or sold on their site – it is simply and informational landing page guiding customers to a contact form.
Client B depends on their website for 100% of their revenue. They sell products and services through their webpage and all social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) direct their customers to place orders directly on their website. If their website is not available they cannot access their clients order information, order status and no new orders can be placed.
Both clients depend on specific services to run their business. The way these two clients interact with their technology is what should be driving the decisions behind the IT budget.
Client A could host his email and website on a $10.00/month, shared web hosting account. Their site and email would probably be available 98-99% of the time. If their web host offers 99.9% uptime that equates to allowable downtime of 8.76 hours a year (43.8 minutes a month). These numbers represent the ALLOWED amount of time email would not be available over the course of a year/month. This does not account for any other factors that can contribute to a clients email being unavailable. How much time per year can you risk your email not being available?
Client B could host their website on a $50.00/month Virtual Private Server (VPS). Their site would probably be available 98-99% of the time. If their web host offers 99.9% uptime that equates to allowable downtime of 8.76 hours a year (43.8 minutes a month). These numbers represent the amount of time the website is ALLOWED to be down before you can even complain that site is not meeting expectations. This does not account for any other factors that can contribute to a website being unavailable. If the website brings in a modest $100 dollars per hour in sales, you could lose $870.00 in sales with no cause for recourse from the hosting provider.
Both Client A and Client B need a consultant to weigh their risk/benefit needs. Some clients may not care if their site is down 8 hours a year, some might care if it is down for 10 seconds. Good consultants get to know their clients business inside and out produce solutions that:
- Meets their needs
- Fits their budget
- Answers, “How much are you willing to risk?”
Miller Consulting can help you through every hurdle you face when making IT decisions for your company so if you are facing these or any other issues implementing an IT plan, contact us today.