The Problem: At times, on a subliminal level, a lot of us think of our business technology as a one-time investment. We know there are ongoing costs, of course, but every time we buy a Mac or PC or make a major purchase we think we are “over the hump.” There is that feeling we all have when we buy something new and thinking of its replacement is the farthest thing from our minds. The truth is, however, as soon as you install any technology today it is quickly becoming dated. That Mac, PC, website, software or app is going to be old in short order.
“Old” is relative today. Software and hardware age like dog years times ten! Technology is changing exponentially as is design on the web. If you want to win on the technology front, you have to see this not as a “once in a few years” investment, but as a continual cost of doing business, like a utility. If you do that you are going to be in position to welcome these needed changes and to really crush your competition because most of your competitors will not.
Treat Technology Like a Utility
We all pay for utilities every month; electricity, water, gas as well as cable and internet and quite honestly most of us don’t even think of these anymore. They are in our budget. The same should be true for business technology costs. This means not just budgeting for your monthly technology costs but also for those periodic upgrades that are a 100% fact of life in today’s world! You will need new hardware and you will need new web tools and new software in the not too distant future, regardless of when you bought your most recent versions of the same. Doesn’t it make sense to really look at what your real technology costs are as an ongoing expense so you can manage it more easily like your gas bills?
Larger companies have some innate advantages when it comes to managing technology costs. Size matters! The advantage enterprise accounts have managing technology costs is the fact that budgeting can be offered by vendors like REW to spread total costs of technology out over time, to allow for a small “per agent” payment each month that includes everything including site upgrades, redesigns, agent sites or subdomains as well as the ongoing costs of service each month. The vendor, like REW, looks at the total costs over time; say 36 months, and breaks down charges evenly over that time. The vendor will receive less in year one, just like your gas company does if you use balanced billing, but it balances out over time.
The Enterprise Advantage
The advantage to the enterprise client is having a manageable technology fee that can be budgeted, while insuring their technology never does a backslide. Upgrades and staying current are built right into the model. When an enterprise client renews with REW they have all of the same custom hours still built into their per member fee so upgrades are painless. What this means is that changes can occur as needed, and clients don’t have to reach into their piggy bank and pull out thousands of dollars to redo their site. The per agent fees cover it. Plus, they have the latest and greatest modules we offer over time because we build that into the plan. Looking at technology as a utility just makes sense.