16 Aug How much does a bad IT infrastructure really cost your business?
Many people think that the only equation to be taken into account when looking at costs for an IT infrastructure is the tangible costs of the infrastructure itself – servers, storage, power, support, maintenance etc. However, there is actually far more that needs to be considered to have a full picture of whether your IT infrastructure is as effective as it can be, and not ultimately costing your business money.
For example, opportunity cost is rarely considered – while your infrastructure may be “working”, is it just existing, or is it working for your business to enhance employee productivity, make the business more efficient, more streamlined, and empower your workforce? In a large proportion of cases, probably not. Below, we’ll look at some points of consideration that should always be part of an IT Infrastructure evaluation process… whether everything is currently “just working” or not.
Does your infrastructure allow access to anything, anywhere, any time?
While a lot of business are office-based only, increasingly, remote working is becoming a much bigger part of business today. If your infrastructure doesn’t give your staff the ability to do their job from wherever they are, you’re losing valuable working time! Naturally, there are some roles that this does not work for – machine workers, for example, can’t exactly conduct their daily duties on the move, however we’re specifically referring to computer terminal-based roles here.
You more than likely have workers who commute long-distance, stopover in hotels, work from clients’ sites or are generally outbound as part of their role. If these workers can’t access your internal systems to their full extent, you’re most likely paying for someone back at base to do some of this work for them. There is no reason in today’s modern workplace that you can’t access Files, internal systems (such as ERP, CRM, Accounting etc.) and communication systems such as chat and phone from anywhere in the world… and if you’re not doing this, you’re losing valuable working time while your employees are out of the office.
In 2017, Gallup conducted a survey on remote working. It found that increasingly year on year, more employees are spending more time out of the office – people who only work less than 20% of the time remotely fell from 34% to 25%, and countering this, people who work remotely 80% or more of their time rose from 24% to 31%. While this may not seem like a huge percentage, this was only in the space of a single year. Therefore, it is critical that every single function of your IT infrastructure is available to these workers to ensure there is no productivity or output deficit by them being out of the office.
Does your infrastructure allow home working?
This is an interesting point – while there is no direct cost to productivity in not allowing home working, there is a huge opportunity cost in the employees themselves. In 2017, Powwownow conducted a survey on home working and its effects – this found that 56% of commuters feel stressed as a result of commuting at least once a month, with 66% suffering from this at least once a week. It shouldn’t need explaining that stressed workers are ineffective, so by actively encouraging more commuting, your business is actively creating a more stressed workforce.
More concerning should be that 70% of workers feel that flexible working makes a job more attractive to them, with 30% stating that they would take flexible working over a pay rise given the choice of only one. What this essentially means is that not only may you be missing out on potentially fantastic employees for your business due to alternative businesses offering flexible working, you’re also not able to offer what’s seen as an extremely valuable part of an employment package.
On top of this, 58% of people believe that working away from the office would help them be more motivated with 53% of people feeling that they would be more productive if they were to work away from the office. These statistics are quite telling in themselves – if over half of your workforce would not only be more productive but also more motivated in working from home, this is an extremely easy way to gain a greater output from your existing workforce… if you enable it.
Is your talent pool limited by your location?
This builds on the point of home working, but is a much broader topic. If you distance yourself from your business specifically for a moment and look at what you actually want out of employment from the highest level, what you’d probably say is “we want the best possible people to do the job”. That’s it. Simple statement.
However, if you then look at what you’re likely actually doing when you look to employ new staff, you’re actually narrowing this to “we want the best possible people to do the job, who live within a 45-minute commute of our offices”. Couple this with the point above regarding home working and your ultimate phrase is “we want the best possible people to do the job, who live within a 45-minute commute of our office and who don’t value home working”. Do you feel your potential talent pool shrinking dramatically? If not, you should do…
By having an IT infrastructure that is flexible, accessible anywhere, secure, stable and available all the time, you can dramatically increase the potential talent that your business can employ. We’re now in a state of technology where it shouldn’t matter where someone lives for them to be able to do their job (as before, certain roles excepted!)… by ensuring you have an IT infrastructure that is the same experience for anyone, regardless of where they are, you will have less stressed, more productive, happier, more motivated and the best possible employees to do the job.
So… if that server is reaching end of warranty and you’re thinking of just replacing it, maybe consider the impact of doing that and only that. Give us a call. We can help.
Speak to our team today to see how we can make a difference for your business or call us on 0203 9292 300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org