Managing expenses is one of the core tasks of any business owner or manager. Nothing is free, so if you want to keep the lights on and your office staffed, you need to know what’s coming in and what you’re paying out.
To run operations profitably, you’ll have to prioritize your expenses. What gets bumped up and what gets pushed to the back? A mistake that many businesses make is to give IT a lower priority.
In this blog, we’ll discuss why many offices tend to place too low of a priority on their IT budget. We’ll also cover what can happen as a consequence if they’re not careful. For parts of the blog we are using medical offices as our example, but the content applies to every type of business.
Why Such a Low Priority?
Many businesses think nothing of dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on diagnostic machines or specialty equipment. Then they drag their feet when it comes to upgrading outdated computer terminals. In all honesty, this isn’t a big surprise as CEOs often have an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. That’s why, in some offices, you’ll see a mixture of old and new computer hardware.
While new vehicles or larger office space can impress your competitors, do these things make your business better? Since the computer system can still do what it’s supposed to be doing, what’s the point of upgrading or expanding? Additionally, and we’re just being frank here, new medical equipment can often mean more money in the pocket of the practice, whereas giving the reception desk updated terminals doesn’t seem to offer any real profit.
That being said, there are more reasons for not wanting to upgrade other than just dollars and cents. For instance, finding good hardware or software can be difficult. In medical offices everything needs to be HIPPA compliant — something that not every system can claim. As a result, upgrading can be a nightmare. Especially when the current system was installed decades ago.
The High Cost of Low Budgets
With many types of investments, including IT purchases, the less you pay upfront, the more you’ll pay in the future. Sure, you can continue to use older mechanical equipment. As long as it’s accurate, it doesn’t matter how old it is since it does its job. Businesses that run older computer systems without modern safety protocols are exceptionally vulnerable to attacks. Keeping your IT up to date could save your business.
Hackers stealing credit card numbers is no surprise. What is surprising is the value of medical records sold in the dark web. In last May alone, there were 28 reports of hacks stealing more than 500 records from medical systems nationwide. HHS’s Office for Civil Rights reports a 59% year-over-year increase in these sorts of attacks. Numerous attacks happened because of outdated systems and hardware. It is difficult for the patients whose privacy was violated. It also opens up healthcare providers to a sea of liability.
In addition to security leaks, you may also face the risk of being left behind. For instance, who ten years ago could have ever dreamt of a world where you could receive your test results at the same time your doctor does? You can even get them on your phone. These and other services are provided via patient portals, which are a major example of how the future is thriving in healthcare. A significant emphasis has been on making patients and doctors partners and the only way to do this is by easy access to information.
Lastly, modern IT just makes everything move faster. Whether it’s billing, insurance claims, scheduling, or other aspects of running a business. There are cloud solutions that can help streamline any business. If you have multiple employees using the same programs, we can help make that more efficient. If you run a Hybrid office where some employees work remotely, we can help with that too.
Modern Solutions to Modern Challenges
Even with all these benefits, there still challenges. The acquisition, implementation, and upkeep of a modern IT solutions take time and research. With so many options at so many price levels, it can be a major undertaking to know what will work best for you.
That’s where a quality Managed Service Provider comes into play. MSPs work well with all organizations since we do all the IT work for you, allowing you to get back to taking care of your business. We can go over what you currently have and work within your needs and budget to make your office run at top efficiency.
Contact us today and let’s come up with the IT solution that’s right for you!