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Charities and Technology

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					Charities and Technology
I have worked in the IT industry for a number of years now and a good percentage of that time has been working with

the charity sector. I have worked for charities directly as part of the IT department and I have also worked for IT

service providers that support charities.


During this time I have noticed a common theme with the way that charities approach sourcing their IT services. Most

charities either have an IT contract with the cheapest provider they can find or rely on 'some guy' that one of the

trustees or employees knows to fix any IT problems.


Not all IT providers that offer a cheap service necessarily provide poor services - some offer great charitable

discounts for a very good service. But many have low rates because they under-staff and under-skill their service

desks. Staff is the biggest outlay for an IT company and many can offer cheap rates because they either employ a

large proportion of their staff straight out of school or because they don't employ enough staff.


Using a company that is cheap for those reasons, or relying on someone who is kindly offering their spare time to

help almost always costs more in the long term for two reasons:


 1.   Fixing a badly done job generally costs more than doing it properly in the first place

 2.   Staff time lost due to your IT not working costs a lot of money

Even for a fairly small charity of 15-20 staff a few days of downtime a year can cost tens of thousands in staff time.

This cost is not normally considered when weighing up the options for an IT contract.


I believe that all charities can and should have good IT systems and excellent support for those systems without

breaking the bank. I believe charities would be much more efficient with the money that has been donated if they

spent just a little more on their IT to find a professional company to look after them - preferably recommended by

someone.


That is why my ambition for a long time has been to run a company that gives a professional service combined with

affordable charity rates.


If you are involved in a charity, whoever you end up using as your IT provider - consider the long term cost and not

just the amount you pay for the contract when you sign. In the long term you will save thousands.


APS Infrastructure provides affordable, professional and simple IT solutions for businesses and charities. This

included desktop support, server support and hosting, events production, network and much more.

				
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