Today’s businesses in South Africa often face tough choices when challenging economic times. What if you didn’t have to? This article will discuss business problems and how information technology (IT) can fix them for you, improving your business’s profitability, productivity, and pleasurably.
These are the topics we’re going to be discussing; feel free to click on one of the links to skip ahead:
Do you need an in-house IT team? (Business Problem Solving)
The Average Computer Technician Salary in South Africa ranges between R29K & R312K, with the average being R96 000. Your technician will work between 40-45 hours, five days a week, and have the knowledge and experience of a single person.
Of the Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), few medium businesses in South Africa have grown their IT departments, instead opting to bring in outside support.
There are many reasons for this, and you can read about this in more detail by reading Forbes’ 11 Signs A Company Should Outsource IT, but we’re going to cover the main points right here.
Don’t let IT availability become a business problem
As described above, you’ll have a single IT technician on your team available for about 2,080 hours a year, assuming a 40-hour work week. This doesn’t include holidays, breaks, and two days a week.
What happens if your IT goes down when they aren’t on shift?
This is a problem many business owners face, and the simple answer is you wait until they get back, or you call for emergency service, further upping the cost of your ongoing IT expenses.
The problem-solving process requires experience.
IT is all about problem-solving. It’s virtually impossible to solve problems effectively in IT without having a base understanding of what’s going wrong and the research & problem-solving skills to offer a solution.
When you hire a single employee, it’ll be rare you have someone who can provide innovative solutions for your entire organization & its IT.
You might have hired someone good at keeping your computer systems and servers running, but do they know about IT security? Data security? Backup failovers? Could they protect or support your business through a ransomware event?
What happens when your business grows?
As a business owner, can you confidently say your team would come to you when they become too busy? Or will they keep to themselves, providing less efficient service as time progresses?
Also, If you open different locations, it can be a big challenge to manage both unless you grow your team which could lead to paying for travel expenses and having less focus on your first location.
If you notice your IT team is getting stretched, you could grow, adding R96,000 to your balance sheet.
IT outsourcing services solve a business problem and save time & money (Solution)
IT Services that are available 24/7/365
Rather than relying on a team being available when you have technology issues, an IT provider can support your business 24/7/365.
According to a thought experiment by isite’s What is the Cost of Downtime in Your Small Business? a law firm with 20 partners, if each lost just one hour of uptime per month and billed an average of R1 500 per hour, that company would lose R360 000 in a lost opportunity.
When thinking about downtime, think about the cost of your employees not working, the cost of catching up, and the cost of lost revenue from potential customers.
Fixing the skill gap
Rather than having an employee with a limited skill set, when you partner with an IT outsourcing service, you’ll be getting a team of experts from various fields of the IT industry.
Something that’s often not discussed when thinking about in-house vs outsourced IT services is culture. Your employee knows your culture and may only play within a particular box of rules. When you use an outside provider, they work off of a known playbook from working with hundreds of other SMMEs.
More or less service depending on how your business is doing
Hiring & training employees are expensive. It becomes even more costly when you think of employee turnover. Employee retention the real cost of an employee is an American article that says it can take up to 6-9 months of monthly salary in lost productivity, lost revenue opportunity and training when you experience turnover.
As your business grows, it’s as easy as expanding your services to your current needs; the same is true if the economy isn’t going your way. Rather than worrying about downsizing or balancing the labour budget, service companies can be flexible to your needs.
Outsourcing your IT is often a way to save money.
Outsourced IT services are often cheaper than the monthly salary of an employee. Still, for the following thought experiment, we will use the same value, the average monthly cost of a computer technician in South Africa R96 000.
IT Team 24/7/365: 730 Hours
Computer Technician (40 hours/week): 195
IT Budget Cost
IT Team 24/7/365: R 96 000
Computer Technician (40 hours/week): R 96 000
Cost Per Hour
IT Team 24/7/365: R 131
Computer Technician (40 hours/week): R 492
As you can see from the above data, it’s almost four times more expensive per hour to have an in-house employee. This doesn’t consider holidays or additional human resources-related costs and taxes.
If you’re looking for a way to future-proof your business IT, stay up to date and save money, IT Outsourcing Services are the way.
How up-to-date is your technology? (Business Problem Solving)
My name is Matt the Nerd; I work for Nerds On Site in cyber security, corporate & national projects. We’re lucky enough to work remotely, and one thing I have is a computer that can support what I do.
My computer has a modern CPU, 64 GB of RAM, an 8GB Graphics Card & a 1TB Solid-State Drive (SSD). It would be an understatement to say my computer is fast. After pressing the power button, my computer starts up and is ready to go and work in about 10 seconds, never experiencing any slow down when opening programs.
Want to know what I don’t have problems with? Lost productivity because my computer is slow.
As a Nerd, I’ve worked on hundreds of systems; some can take minutes to perform simple actions and even longer start-up in the morning.
I remember working for Vodacom before I became a Nerd, and we had to be in the building 15 minutes before the shift started to get all of the programs up and running before the shift time.
Why the stories, Matt the Nerd?
Slow technology costs your real business money.
When an employee waits for a business computer to do something, productivity is lost.
5 Minutes lost daily, for ten employees is nine whole days a year.
The average salary in South Africa right now is R24 000. Using the math above, you lose about R10-11 000 Rand a year.
5 Minutes is a day is low. Many businesses have systems that can take away hours a week.
Upgrade your technology regularly (Solution)
We recommend upgrading systems every 3-5 years, with the most up-to-date technology available to ensure speed & security.
Partner with a Business Solutions Provider like Nerds On Site South Africa; you can often get procurement discounts are they will have bulk discounts from dealing with other companies and long partnerships with suppliers.
IT security is seen as a cost that you can go without paying (Business Problem Solving)
60% of businesses that get attacked by ransomware go out of business within six months.
There are a few things to consider regarding the above statement and article. The reason these businesses go out of business is not the ransom; it’s the remediation and loss of reputation.
One retail business I know of that got ransomed without protection did not have sufficient backups for their sensitive data storage. Their systems, banking, financials, taxes, and customer history were gone.
They had to close the doors for a month, to focus on rebuilding their business’s client history, re-inventory their store, and get their systems back up and running and secure.
Imagine if your business closed the door for a month and had to continue paying your employees, suppliers & vendors with reduced or no income.
When I talk to businesses about cyber security, do you want to know what the most common answer I get is?
It’ll never happen to me
95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. Cyber attackers don’t look at your postal code or country when you click on a phishing email or download a bad program. 3.4 Billion Phishing emails are sent out each day across the world.
Cyber attacks are on the rise and have increased by 67% since 2014. As South Africa keeps developing on the internet, this will only become more prevalent as time goes on.
IT Security is an investment, not a cost (Solution)
You should go back and look if you didn’t read the above section.
Could you repeat after me?
IT security is not a business cost
IT Security is an investment in your business’s future. Think of it as an apple tree; if you’re secured, you will be at the top, and no one will get a ladder to try and get your apple. If you’re not, you’re easily picked from the ground. Every business that does not take it seriously will become a victim eventually.
Nerds On Site South Africa and our Cyber Security Solutions can future-proof your business from phishing attacks and ransomware by protecting your network with our Zero Trust technology.
Not investing in new technology for process improvement (Business Problem Solving)
Automation is growing at an incredible rate as the years go by. Every industry is leveraging the power of new technology to either improve existing technology or provide a problem-solving process for business problems.
Think of Microsoft Excel. Microsoft Excel can use automation to generate reports, automatically reducing labour hours. Even today, most people who work with Microsoft Excel aren’t aware of these features, leading to years of lost productivity.
Most small business owners are focused on their small businesses operations and have a specialised knowledge set for whatever your business does. This means you may not be aware of the potential cost savings IT can bring you.
An IT assessment is a cost-effective way of highlighting opportunities to solve business problems effectively (Solution)
IT Assessments and Consulting will highlight inefficiencies in your entire organization and offer multiple solutions for solving business problems. As it’s only an assessment, it’s relatively cost-effective, and you can make a detailed plan to tackle your biggest challenges to improve profitability and efficiency.
Hundreds of effective solutions can increase your business’s profitability and productivity, but tackling IT will almost always be the easiest to do quickly.
Nerds On Site South Africa prides itself on increasing the pleasurability, productivity and profitability of SMMEs we work with. We were founded in 1995 and have proudly serviced over 100,000 Clients.