Hidden Cost of IT 1 – Software Licensing
There are two types of hidden costs of IT which could be seen as taxes of a sort.
The first is software licensing. Licensing is not a tax but can seem like a hidden cost.
There are licensing costs, maintenance costs and management costs. If you use software, then you need to pay for it.
The software allows you to save money on people hours, enables you to scale parts of your business, and it allows you to increase the speed at which you can transact with your customers.
If you cannot afford to pay for the software you are using, you need to do things the old-fashioned way with person-hours; otherwise, suck it up, pay for the software and realise the amount of time and money you saved.
You may use open-source alternatives without a licensing fee; however, do not expect all the costs to disappear.
Support costs will undoubtedly be there unless you can google all the answers yourself.
Hidden Cost of IT 2 – Protection and Security
The second cost, which is harder to see still, is that if you use IT, you must protect it.
Just as you put a security guard on the front door of your building checking IDs, you need to do the same whilst matching users have the authorisation to use your systems.
This means there will be some additional overhead just for using IT.
It comes in several products, such as anti-virus, anti-malware, IDS, HIDS, Firewalls, and URL filtering.
Most countries have legal requirements to keep people’s data safe. You cannot just collect data and leave it lying around the office.
Decades ago, we used to store data in filing cabinets, but even those cabinets had keys to stop unauthorised access to the data.
The modern-day equivalent is software which does the same thing. It can defend, monitor, alert, and store an audit log of who has accessed what, when, and from where.
Unlike filing cabinets, computer systems can be accessed from outside your business. I don’t even need to be in the same country to gain access to your files anymore.
The hidden cost of IT does exist, and you have to pay for it to enjoy the privilege of using IT.