"Do I need the $25,000 server or the $2,000 server? What about my network components - should I spend $15,000 for routers, firewalls, and remote access or will $1,000 suffice to meet my needs? Do I really need to spend $2,000 for a computer?"
In today's fast-paced and technologically-advanced marketplace, most people are over-whelmed when it comes to understanding their office's technological needs. The moment eventually comes when decision-makers must place their trust in an IT professional to provide solutions to their computer and technology needs.
The problem arises with the typical background and experience found in an IT professional: many are extremely intelligent, experienced, and dedicated when it comes to technology, BUT are very limited when it comes to evaluating business goals, needs, and objectives. For example, Seras meets with small businesses (5-10 employees) every day that are not using any extensive software programs, do not currently need or have plans in the future to need secure remote access, and use only a small amount of data on a shared-file system. The cost of technology found in their office is staggering: expensive multi-rack servers with layered intrusion security and terabytes of unsused storage space. All of this with no back-up or recovery system in place!
"What do I do to ensure that I only get what I need?"
Seras recommends taking the time to familiarize yourself with exactly what is being proposed and why. Get at least three written proposals and ask for references before spending valuable time and money on a new relationship with a computer service provider. At a minimum, each aspect of proposed change should be questioned and evaluated based soley on the current and future needs of the organization - aside from budget, security, and culture concerns.