MonkeyPuzzle Computers: Ilminster, Somerset

DIY IT - the dangers

In this modern world we all have a degree of IT knowledge; some know a little and some know a lot. For some it’s a knowledge of a specific aspect of IT and for others their knowledge is more general. What this means is that for any given problem you can often find an solution by asking the folk around you. This is particularly true in the workplace; there are more people and they are all doing similar work to your own, so the likelihood is that you can find a quick fix without resorting to professional help.

Because professional IT support costs money.

And no-one likes to spend money needlessly, particularly in the current economic climate. However I would just like to sound a word of caution which hopefully won’t sound like sour grapes and may assist in making an informed decision next time you might need to call in IT support.

Let’s be clear at the outset - in many cases of minor IT problems, local knowledge can resolve the problem. In our experience at MonkeyPuzzle Computers there are two main issues to be aware of when ‘Doing It Yourself’ with IT support.

  • The first is the most obvious; that the quick fix turns out to be nothing of the sort. The person doing the fix actually causes more problems and the next thing you know a minor issue is a major catastrophe. That small fix causes problems on the network and everyone is suddenly at a standstill. Perhaps not so likely, but still possible and to be avoided at all costs. (And in all honesty, the main culprit for this sort of scenario is the boss who thinks they can have a go to save some money!)
  • The second issue in doing DIY IT is far less obvious - the unseen cost of not resolving the problem as soon as possible. This isn’t a case of a minor problem becoming major over time, but more the increments of time that are lost while users deal with small niggles and problems. A PC that suddenly runs slow a few times a day could easily lose a user a couple of hours in a week. Which they are being paid for, but not earning any money. Likewise, if a server needs restarting every morning because of some issue overnight, the temptation may be to simply do the restart every morning if it then works for the rest of the day. But a server restart can take 15 minutes each time. Over a 20 day month that’s 5 hours lost. Five hours when nobody at all in the workplace is earning money.

These are tough times and everyone is looking to save money. IT has always been seen as an easy cost to cut, but there is no denying that the majority of businesses are utterly dependant on IT in one form or another - PCs, the internet, email.

Perhaps next time just picking up the phone and asking an IT professional for advice might save more in the long term than a bit of DIY IT now.

Added By: Phil Wright on 08th Jan 2011 - 10:59
Number of Views: 3216
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