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Kharmela Mindanao

By: Kharmela Mindanao on May 28th, 2024

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4 Challenges of Paying for Cheap IT (& Solutions)

Managed IT Services

Some deals seem too good to be true - especially when it comes to your IT. IT is the backbone of modern businesses, from managing data and communication to streamlining processes and enhancing productivity.

But looking only at the price tag of IT services jeopardizes your entire support structure.

As a managed IT company with decades of experience, Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS) knows balancing your resources while getting quality IT is a struggle. But we believe you should be warned: cheap IT can seriously affect your company’s operations and overall growth.

When your IT bills are suspiciously low – for example, an on-site technician’s hourly rate is less than minimum wage, the hardware is 50% cheaper than anywhere else, or your Microsoft subscription charges don’t match the official website – look for the catch-22.

While "cheap" often implies lower cost, there’s more to it than the price tag. Cheap hardware and software or cheap services often stand in the way of robust IT solutions and may lack certain features, reliability, or quality compared to more expensive alternatives.

Corporate executives discussing challenges of insufficient IT budget in a casual meeting setup

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the disadvantages of not investing sufficiently in your IT. There are four main ways being too tight with your IT budget negatively impacts your business: 

1. Lower Quality Services 

First and foremost, when you opt for cheap IT solutions, you often compromise on quality. Sure, the price tag might look tempting, but you end up with a flawed system prone to frequent breakdowns and glitches.  

Think of it as buying a bargain-bin laptop that crashes every time you try to open multiple tabs. That’s not the kind of reliability you want for your business, right?  

Unreliable IT can lead to significant downtime, which affects employees’ productivity and frustrates customers. And we all know that frustrated customers are rarely loyal customers. 

2. Lack of Scalability 

Secondly, cheap IT solutions often lack scalability. As your company grows, your IT infrastructure needs to grow with it.

But if you’ve invested in a cheap system, it may not be able to handle the increased workload.

You might constantly run out of storage space or experience slow network speeds. This can hinder your ability to expand your operations, take on new clients, or handle a sudden surge in customer demand.

You’ll be stuck in IT limbo while your competitors race ahead.

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3. Higher Security Risks 

Another downside of cheap IT is the security risks it poses. Cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and investing in strong security measures is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

Cheap IT solutions often need to improve security features, leaving your company vulnerable to attacks and data breaches. It’s like leaving your front door wide open and inviting burglars to help themselves to your valuables.

You must also meet specific IT security standards if you’re also in a highly regulated field, like finance or healthcare. Plus, a robust security set-up is a key component of cyber liability insurance, and most cyber insurance companies won’t take you on as a client with a weak security network.

RELATED: 5 Things to Check to Get Cyber Insurance Approval 

These high-security risks can snowball into severe financial and reputational damage, not to mention potential legal liabilities if customer or employee data is compromised.  

4. Increase in Downtime  

Lastly, cheap IT can harm your employees’ morale and efficiency. Outdated software, slow computers, and unreliable networks can frustrate even the most patient of team members. If your staff constantly battles technology instead of focusing on their core tasks, this will affect their motivation and job satisfaction.

And let’s not forget the time wasted on troubleshooting IT issues instead of driving your company forward. Time is money, and cheap IT can be a black hole that devours both. The money you’ll spend on downtime is better spent on IT that prevents downtime from happening at all.

For example, Lyons Roofing claimed they spent too much money on downtime. They couldn’t answer phone calls, contact customers, or move forward with any deals. Consistent, reliable IT was invaluable once things worked smoothly.  

Business team analyzing budget constraints due to cheap IT solutions, showing charts and calculators

Solutions for Cheap IT 

So, what are the alternatives? It’d be easy to say, “Spend more on your IT!” but we know that’s not feasible for every company.

Instead, here’s a list of strategies you can use to get the best value for what you can currently afford:  

1. Outsource IT Services 

Outsourcing IT services is the most straightforward strategy for lowering IT costs. You can get IT from different third-party providers—like break-fix companies and managed IT providers—and find a solution that works for you.

This approach allows you to tap into skilled professionals and leverage their expertise without the expense of hiring and maintaining an in-house IT team. 

2. Conduct Strategic Planning and Prioritization 

You can also conduct a comprehensive IT assessment and strategic planning exercises to help identify and prioritize your essential IT needs.

With this strategy, you can allocate resources more efficiently and avoid unnecessary expenditures. You can also quickly bring your IT up to par in the future instead of getting stuck in an unscalable system.  

3. Treat IT as an Investment 

Lastly, IT is best viewed as an investment in your company. It’s better to accept the higher upfront costs for longer-quality IT solutions that align with your company’s needs and future goals.

Professionals engaged in strategic planning over potential downsides of underfunded IT services

Ready to Invest in Your IT Network? 

So, while cheap IT may seem like a cost-effective solution at first glance, its negative impact on your company is far from budget-friendly.

From reliability and scalability issues to security risks and reduced employee efficiency, the consequences of opting for cheap IT can bring regret and headaches you don’t need.

So, next time a bargain-priced IT solution tempts you, think twice and consider the long-term implications. After all, investing in quality IT is an investment in the future of your business.

As experts in IT management, we’ve seen firsthand how skimping on IT can cause long-term problems. Check out the following resources and see how investing in IT will benefit your company:

But if you’re ready to invest in your IT, try our pricing calculator to know how much you should set aside. Then schedule a meeting with us as the first step on your journey to quality, cost-effective IT.  

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