Real Costs of Supporting Your Technology Infrastructure
Is your company at a crossroads — attempting to determine whether to outsource IT operations or continue with internal support? Be sure you’re including all these factors in your calculations.
There are some IT infrastructure costs that are straightforward, such as hardware and data storage. Others are visible, but not as clear-cut such as labor and utilities. You are probably already considering some level of risk, but are you keeping all of these factors in mind as you’re coming up with a fully-loaded cost for supporting your technology infrastructure? Understanding some of these hidden issues is key if you want to make an informed decision about whether to continue internal support of your technology infrastructure or decide to partner with an IT managed services provider.
Salaries for Top Technology Professionals Continue to Rise
Technology is everywhere, and that means top talent will be in demand for the foreseeable future. Specifically, individuals with experience in the infrastructure and cybersecurity fields are in demand, with even entry-level salaries for IT support professionals climbing above an average of $53,328 per year according to Indeed — before factoring in any benefits. The systems engineers, IT managers and IT security specialists you will need to maintain a secure and reliable infrastructure come at a significantly higher price tag ranging from $92,972 up to $110,355 for IT security specialists. When you consider the number of individuals needed to provide adequate IT infrastructure support, many companies find themselves balancing on a knife-edge: attempting to reduce expenses without cutting into critical support needs. This can slow down business projects and create operational weaknesses and expose additional security risks.
The Hidden Cost of Cybersecurity Risk
It can be difficult to quantify the exact compliance or cybersecurity risk for your organization, but you can look at the average costs by industry to get an idea of what you might be facing in the event of an attack or a serious miss in your compliance reporting. According to Tech Republic, the average cost of the most common form of cybersecurity attack — a data breach — is around $1.41 million. On the plus side, organizations that focused specifically on protecting against a cyberattack were able to reduce these costs dramatically, only averaging $675,000 for companies with a strong SOC (security operation center). While you could not reasonably add $1.41 million of risk to your overall technology infrastructure costs, it is vital to consider whether you are able to aggressively protect your organization utilizing only internal IT assets.
Maintaining Compliance in a Data-Driven Age
If you’re in finance or healthcare, no one needs to preach to you about the costs of compliance — you are living and breathing this information and scouring the internet and networking with your peers to learn more. What might be surprising is that other industries are becoming just as vulnerable to compliance issues, particularly as the data storage and handling rules begin to change. The first blip on the data horizon came with the passing of Europe’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), dictating exactly how and when customer data can be stored, used and conveyed.
Now that these rules are fully in place, 2019 was known as the “year of enforcement” with European data protection authorities levying $228 million fines against British Airways and $124 for Marriott. What’s worse is that these fines are far from the top of the scale for GDPR, and states in the US are not far behind in their timeline of requiring data compliance. California’s CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) is very similar to GDPR regulations in many ways, one of which is the excessive fines for non-compliance. Without dedicated support and highly-structured databases, companies are scrambling to regain their footing and create a solid infrastructure that can support these detailed requirements.
Understanding the true cost of your infrastructure often requires taking a holistic look at the organization to understand not only the well-defined costs but the opportunity and compliance costs as well.