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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