How long could you survive if your heart stopped? A minute? Two minutes? Probably not much longer than seven minutes at the most.
Can your business survive a day without your IT infrastructure? Can it survive for a week without email? Can it go for a month without Internet access?
Maybe your business can survive for that day, but not if it is a regular occurrence. Perhaps you can go for a week without email, but your business will likely suffer for it. A month without Internet access though probably means a month without any bills going out or payments being received. How long can your business survive without those?
This is why the concept of IT being just a cost is ridiculous. IT is no longer a luxury for a business to have. IT is a necessity for a business to survive. IT is quickly becoming the heart of every business that enables the work to be done and profits to be earned.
Imagine that you need heart surgery. Would your primary concern be how much that surgery was going to cost you? Of course not! Your primary concern would be your survival! You would be more concerned with the quality of your life following that surgery, and not with what the bill might be following that surgery. You would not shop around for a cheap heart surgery.
But that is exactly what so many businesses do when it comes to their IT infrastructures. They refuse to purchase high quality hardware because of its price. They sign agreements to use inferior software because it costs less to acquire. They demand that the hours and rates be reduced on professional services, because they just do not see the value in a job being done right and not rushed.
They are shopping for a cheap heart surgery for their business.
Negotiating a fair price is to be expected. Maximizing a limited budget is admirable. Cutting corners and decreasing quality is not something that should be admired, and unfortunately is far too often to be expected. Cutting corners and decreasing quality in order to lower a price and reduce your costs is just bad business.
There is a reason why heart surgery is expensive, and that is because the cost of a cheap heart surgery is far greater than the price of a good one. Keep your business healthy, and when the time comes to do work on your IT infrastructure remember that it is the results and not the price that matters most.