# Calculating Your ITâ€™s Real Cost

Hidden IT costs can be stifling your company and you just donâ€™t know it. Itâ€™s important to assess what those costs are and find a way to help your business perform better.

In this day and age, few businesses (if any) can survive without an IT arm. Every business, big or small, needs someone, or preferably a group of people, on hand to fix computer problems, check networks, monitor software â€“ to generally make sure that their operations are running smoothly.

One question, though: have you ever stopped to consider whether the cost of maintaining your in-house IT system is worth it? For instance, consider your internet connection. Letâ€™s say that a conservative estimate of the efficiency of your business without an internet connection is at 50%. And if your business makes a \$1 million a year, then \$500,000 depends on your internet connection. If your monthly bill for that connection is \$500, or \$6,000 annually, you earn \$500,000 – \$6,000 = \$494,000. Now, if you decide to switch to a cheaper DSL connection, which is about \$50 per month or \$480 a year, you get a much higher figure: \$499,520.

You could argue that the DSL is the wiser option, but when you look at a deeper level, a slower internet connection may also hamper your companyâ€™s productivity â€“ letâ€™s say, by 10%. So with only a DSL connection, your business operates at 90% of its total possible productivity. Considering the previous figures, a loss of 10% in productivity means a loss of \$100,000. Subtract that savings from the DSL connection, \$5,520 â€“ you get a whopping loss of \$94,480. So when you think youâ€™re saving by getting a cheaper internet connection, you are actually losing more money. Inversely, if you subscribe to an even better connection that costs you \$10,000, productivity can increase by \$15,000.

The same principle applies when your IT infrastructure is not up to date, with slow computers, outdated software, and other problems. In a company with 10 employees who bring in an annual average of \$65,000 each, even losing productivity for just 35 minutes a day due to IT handicaps can cost you \$47,000. Hardly chump change! But hiring an IT provider who charges \$20,000 a year can offset that lost productivity and even make your business run better, by as much as \$27,000. Itâ€™s also noteworthy to mention that employing an IT firm can count as a legitimate business expense, thereby lowering your tax liability to about \$8,000 if you peg corporate tax at 40%.

IT is important to a business. If you doubt that, just try doing without it for a week â€“ just shut the whole thing down. For most, thatâ€™s out of the question, but operating with old software and hardware is almost just as bad. However, many businesses cannot spare the resources to continually upgrade their IT systems.

Enlisting the services of an IT firm changes all that. IT Service Providers are constantly on the lookout for better technologies â€“ both hardware and software â€“ that can make your business function much more efficiently and cost effectively. Itâ€™s what they do. And the costs are minimal. If youâ€™re wondering how much better your company might operate with an IT Service Provider, weâ€™ll be happy to sit down with you and run some numbers.

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