19
Mar2018

Case Study: Business Grade or Bust

This week, we wanted to address a real life “case study” and cover one of the issues we see a lot with companies who aren’t “in the know” in regards to IT, leaving their company incredibly vulnerable. We find that too many companies try to handle IT without a consultation or hiring of an IT professional.

 

To preface, this is a $20,000,000 annual revenue company that deals with a high volume of complex data and must keep data on file for at least 10 years.

 

Recently, we were on site with a prospective client for a consultation for a project to upgrade their “server.” This particular “server” was actually a Synology NAS. The internal IT professional (Design Engineer who also “does IT”) walked us around and described the company’s needs and wants. At the end of the day, we were dumbfounded by the lack of business grade equipment. Their firewall was a home router, their server was a NAS Synology, they were not in a RAID environment, they didn’t have a backup system in place and told us several times throughout the visit, “we don’t need much, this is more than we need.” On the way out, we run into the CEO of the company and he makes a point to tell us they need a firewall with better protective capacity because their current state is not acceptable.

We leave the facility, go back to the office, draw up a quote. We keep everything the “IT professional” said in mind. Their current system and their “wants and needs” etc. We put together the cheapest server option (that covers their business needs), a business grade firewall, and drives to help repurpose their “server” as a local backup solution. We submit our quote and the first thing we get in response is “we don’t need all of this, you have to understand our needs. Just give me a quote on updated versions of what we have.” We respectfully replied “this is business grade equipment, what you currently have is not and to be honest, you have been lucky nothing devastating has happened because this is not a good way to set up your infrastructure.”

After not getting a response or an understanding from this company, two weeks passes and my phone rings. Guess who? You guessed it, the company who didn’t want to change their current set up and guess what happened? No, they didn’t want to upgrade. In their words “our system crashed and we lost everything.” After diagnosing the issue, the company had a drive go out, while they didn’t lose “everything,” they did lose everything on that drive. After explaining their situation to them and offering up the suggestion of a RAID they said “no, we want to upgrade this same system.”

At the end of the day, this company brings in $20,000,000 in revenue annually and they were scared to spend $10,000 on ensuring they don’t have any issues moving forward with the system that provides them the ability to make that $20,000,000 in revenue. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say this building had a fire or flooded and everything was lost, they don’t have offsite backups, they don’t have anything cloud based, what happens now? All because the company didn’t want to spend .0005% of their annual revenue, they lose the majority of their business.

 

I guarantee if this situation was presented to this company as a case study, they would’ve been able to spot the “red flags” immediately, without question. Sometimes we get so focused in on “the business” of making money, we forget the components that allow our operation “to make money.”

 

Business grade or bust, it really is that simple for 90% of businesses. Business grade equipment gives a company the best chance of continuing as a strong and productive company. While these home-based solutions are simply not good enough, they put your company at a huge risk. We aren’t just talking about data loss, we are talking about an easy to hack router in place of a firewall, and extremely poor operation efficiency.

How much more productive could your company be if you could open, close, and save documents at faster speeds? This company was spending minutes, yes minutes on opening, closing and saving files, and seemed to think that in 2018 it was normal operations.

If you can go to Wal-Mart and buy it, don’t put it in your business as a business grade solution. If you take pride in your company, take pride in all facets. Hire or consult with an IT professional. If your IT professional is primarily something else within the company, you definitely want to consult with an outside IT source before you make your final decisions.

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