In the fast-paced world of construction, where every dollar counts, it's not uncommon for businesses to handle their IT needs internally.

Often, this responsibility falls on the shoulders of an unsuspecting “IT Champion” – someone who’s adept at technology but never signed up for the role. After all, why allocate funds to an external IT company when you can manage things in-house?

However, as I’ve learned through firsthand experiences, the decision to DIY IT can lead to dire consequences. Allow me to illustrate with a couple of cautionary tales that highlight the importance of professional IT support.

Picture this: it’s a crisp Monday morning, and a commercial building client is in a frenzy. Their systems have fallen victim to ransomware, despite our earlier recommendations to invest in proactive managed services. Opting to handle IT internally, they took charge of backups using a manual, outdated system involving USB drives. One onsite, one offsite – a failsafe in theory, until ransomware struck.

In the chaos that ensued, it became apparent that the backups hadn’t been rotated in months. With files held hostage and a $100,000 ransom demand looming, panic set in. Thankfully, we intervened in time to salvage their data, sparing them from a potential financial catastrophe. Yet, the downtime cost them at least $50,000 in business, not to mention the hefty IT bill and untold stress.

This ordeal could have been averted with a managed service agreement in place. Proactive monitoring, email security protocols, and a robust backup system would have thwarted the ransomware attack from the outset, saving our client from this nightmare scenario.

Another common DIY IT pitfall revolves around subscription management, particularly with Microsoft 365 licenses. We’ve encountered numerous clients overspending on licenses or unwittingly using consumer-grade products for business purposes. Take, for instance, a residential building client utilising “Microsoft 365 for Home” across their entire workforce. A costly oversight, given the potential ramifications of non-compliance during a Microsoft audit.

Transitioning them to commercial licenses not only rectified the issue but also unlocked additional features tailored to their business needs. It’s a stark reminder of the importance of staying informed and vigilant when it comes to IT subscriptions.

Now, don’t get me wrong – there’s certainly a place for DIY IT, especially in startups or for minor hardware replacements and basic troubleshooting. However, when it comes to critical areas like servers, backups, and licensing compliance, the risks far outweigh the potential savings. It’s imperative to enlist the expertise of IT professionals to navigate these complexities and safeguard your business against costly mishaps.

In conclusion, the allure of DIY IT may seem enticing, but the stakes are too high to gamble with the backbone of your construction business. Invest wisely in professional IT support, and you’ll not only save money in the long run but also ensure the resilience and security of your operations in an increasingly digital landscape.


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