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Your Business Must Think Long-term and Short-term When it Comes to IT

b2ap3_thumbnail_long_term_short_term_it_400For your business’s IT, it’s important to consider both the short-term and long-term benefits of new technology solutions. However, which of these offers the greatest return-on-investment in terms of profitability and workplace efficiency? Some might argue that short-term IT (think break-fix IT) is more in line with a business’s immediate needs, while long-term IT (i.e. managed IT) considers longevity and proactive thought.

A recent study performed by Tech Pro Research suggests that short-term IT is vastly more agile than long-term IT, but doesn’t suggest that either are superior over the other. According to the study, 60 percent of respondents feel that short-term IT can be beneficial to their business strategy, but only 47 percent are currently taking advantage of short-term IT solutions. We suggest that short-term and long-term IT deployment are both necessary, and have different purposes and practicalities.

Benefits of Short-Term IT Investment
In a sense, short-term IT deployment can be seen as impulsive. It’s designed to help your business resolve a current issue as efficiently as possible. In fact, 81 percent of respondents to Tech Pro Research’s survey claim that the quicker deployment of solutions was the primary reason to be trusting in short-term IT. Other benefits include the ability to leverage IT staff more effectively, and better alignment with business objectives. These solutions are often more in line with what a business needs, as they are implemented on an as-needed basis. There is no guesswork as to whether or not they will benefit your IT infrastructure down the road.

Contrary to short-term IT deployment, long-term solutions are designed to provide a return-on-investment over a given amount of time, and to reduce overall expenditures by taking preventative measures.

Shortcomings of Short-Term IT Investment
While there are quite a few benefits of short-term IT investment, there are also quite a few shortcomings. Many respondents cited the increase in costs (35 percent) as a drawback of short-term IT deployment, while another 33 percent cited weaker problem detection as a cause for concern. These drawbacks were likely caused by planning in the short-term rather than for the long-term, proving the point that long-term IT is much better at risk management and problem detection than short-term IT investments.

Since one of the benefits of short-term IT consists of the ability to make quick decisions, it’s effective for when your business needs to think on its feet. However, long-term IT investment gives your business the opportunity to be proactive against incoming threats and issues. Thus, the primary difference between short-term IT and long-term IT is that short-term is considered reactive, while long-term IT is considered preventative. Depending on exactly what challenges your business is facing, combining short-term agility with long-term proactive thinking is often the best bet. If your business is ready to take full advantage of proactive IT measures, give PACE Technical Services a call at 905.763.7896.

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