Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My High Cost of Not Outsourcing

If it isn't part of your central value, it ought to be outsourced.

I couldn't be any more convinced. Not doing so causes me more time and focus waste than I can afford. I can't afford doing thigs that I am not gifted, resourced, talented, or interested in doing.

Today my hard drive failed.

I turned my HP laptop on this morning. The little power lights illuminated. Then, they shut off. Then they illuminated again. Then they shut off. A 3rd time, they illuminated. A third time, they shut off. Before it happened a 4th time, I pressed the power button . . . an attempt to start over, fresh.

I removed the battery and the A/C power connection. I waited 15 minutes.

I re-inserted the A/C, and re-launched the machine. Nothing had changed.

I did notice that the light which indicates that the hard drive was spinning was not lit.

OK. This is not good. I have seen hard drive failure before.

I called the warranty service group. They asked me to repeat what I had already done. No luck.

"We will send you a lable so you can send us your machine."

"How long will that take?"

"You will have the label in 3-5 days."

"How long will you have the machine?"

"We will have it for 7-10 days."

"And then?"

"We will send it back."

So, in the perfect world, if 'everything' works, I won't be able to get back into full service for at least 2 weeks.

What if the hard drive needs to be replaced? That's easy. I'll just reinstall my backup. Whoops, I don't know how. I guess I can learn, but it will cost me another couple of hours, not taking into account the hours it will take for the data transfer.

What will this cost me?

From the mechanical model perspective, maybe nothing. The postage is paid, the warranty covers the service. They'll even replace the hard drive, everything good as new.

From the organic, real perspective, it will cost a small fortune.

There's the direct time I need to "waste" fiddling with the machine. With all the time invested, the best result would be a return to equilibrium. Time and focus invested, noting gained.

There's the opportunity cost for what I would have otherwise been doing during the direct time.
There's the opportunity cost for the things I will not be able to do because I don't have the machine.

There's the cost of the total lack of focus, and the distraction. You see, this morning I was to finish the composition of my latest speech, one I had started yesterday, a breakthrough presentation based on an inspiration I received this past week, to be delivered at a major event early July. That one speech could be worth $ thousands. But, as we creative folks know, I could lose it if I don't finish it while inspired.

Wait, with the distraction and frustration of the morning, I have already lost a good deal of that inspiration. I think I'm going to be sick.

I needed an IT outsource.

What I need is an IT outsource to make sure that my systems are what they need to be, how they need to be, and where they need to be. I don't need a full time IT person, neither do I need a quick fix technician who will get his initial look at my system only when he sees it not working.

What would a good outsource have done? I don't know all the details, but I do know this. I would have made a call to someone who knew the who, what, where, when, and why behind my little IT operation, and then I would have been able to relax. In just a minimal amount of time, I would be back in business, minimizing my distraction and down time. I would complete my inspired project. I would hardly stumble through the day.

As it is, my mechanical, cost saving approach is going to cost me a fortune.

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