Our MD, Lorna, has been talking a lot with the team about the ‘sunk cost fallacy’ this month – looking at the correlation between how much time someone invests in an object, service, idea or person and, in turn, how hard they then find it to abandon the ship – even if it is sinking.

Lorna likened this to businesses and IT support providers. If you’ve outsourced to a firm for a number of years, you know what you’re getting when it comes the output and results. Yet, the prospect of moving to another one – even if your current approach isn’t 100% fulfilling your firm’s needs – can seem incredibly daunting.

Our point here is that it’s worth exploring your options to make the best long-term decision for your SME – especially when it comes to your technology!

The Windows 10 conundrum

There’s been lots in the headlines about Microsoft’s operating system (OS) upgrade over the past six months, and with the tech giant confirming the end of support for Windows 7 at the start of the year, the conversation around ‘what to do next’, has been hotting up.

It’s a well-known fact that keeping on top of the latest system updates helps to keep users safer online – and reduces the risk of your device’s security being compromised. But, with a Windows 10 Pro licence for businesses starting from over £200 per PC, it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out the creeping costs if 10 machines need the update…

Where the ‘sunk cost fallacy’ comes in is if your business is working from machines which are years old, you may be tempted to stick with them (because they’re familiar) and simply spend the money on fresh licences.

However, from our experience, there’s a lot to be said for buying a new laptop – with Windows 10 as standard – instead of retrofitting the new OS on an antiquated machine.

After all, there’s no guarantee how long your older device will last – you could say, it’s killing two birds with one, more cost-efficient, stone.

Wider tech infrastructure

We’ve talked about the OS side if things, but what about the bigger picture?

– Are your systems running slowly?
– Do you put up with the dreaded blue screen – because it only happens ‘every now and then’?
– Do you have to keep deleting files because you’re running out of storage?
– Are you plagued by notifications to update your existing cyber security software?
– Is your technology aligned with your wider business objectives?

Are you confused by what any – or all – of these things mean?

These seemingly minor annoyances are some of employees’ biggest distraction points – that’s why they need resolving before they get worse and continue to hamper the productivity of your workforce.

In reality, your tech provider should be regularly reviewing your systems and overall set-up to make sure it’s still working for your company’s needs. That’s why we swear by our IT audit approach – a comprehensive questionnaire which looks at your infrastructure, support service, security and telecommunications (if applicable).

We urge SME owners not to be afraid of the unknown – or complacent in what they do know – because in order to develop a company, it’s crucial to take risks, but the right ones!

Unfortunately, all too often, technology is considered as an afterthought – once goals are already in place. But, the power of reflection is a wonderful thing, and regularly looping your IT provider into any business changes or aspirations, can help prevent organisations from getting halfway up the mountain – only to realise they don’t have enough provisions to make it to the top.

If you feel like you’re living Groundhog Day with relentless tech headaches or feel unsure what are the right next steps for your firm, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team of techies – or pop in for a brew and biscuit!

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    Technical IT Support illustration at Q2Q HQ Lancaster, Lancashire and the North West