Friday, December 2nd, 2005

Community Information Strategies Australia (CISA) recently completed a study on how effectively and efficiently SA community organisations and small businesses were using their computers, printers and phones. 25 Adelaide-based and regional organisations were given a comprehensive IT Healthcheck of their infrastructure and systems, courtesy of pilot program funding from the Science, Technology and Innovation Directorate of the SA Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (DFEEST).
The results included findings that:
- 32% of organisations did not have an adequate firewall.
- Only 56% were regularly updating their anti-virus software and some had no anti-virus software at all.
- 84% were backing up their data but of those only 71% were regularly checking their ability to actually restore the data if needed.
- 44% had nor register of the software they owned and 20% of software programs being used had no identified licensing, creating not only legal issues but problems gaining support if needed
- 20% were not using the most efficient printer for their requirements, which was costing them around $1,500 per year more than it should. (If the same percentage held across all SA small businesses the amount wasted would be around $1.7 million a year.)
- 54% were still using dialup internet accounts and most hadnt reviewed their Internet Service Provider (ISP) arrangements in the past few years, despite the growth of broadband. 50% of organisations were spending on average of $52 per month more than they needed to on internet services. If the same percentage held across all 58,000 SA small businesses, some $18m is being wasted annually on unnecessary internet costs.
- After the IT healthchecks were completed and the recommendations implemented, the direct cost savings to the organisations involved was estimated at around $10,000 per organisation per annum. This came from time saved in administration and fixing problems, equipment and software costs, phone costs and internet costs. Again, on a statewide basis that could represent a saving of anywhere between $20m and $60m annually to SA small business.
One of the beneficiaries of the IT healthcheck program, Michele Brereton from NetworkSA in Angle Park, said recently Prior to finding out about the Healthcheck program we were very aware that our IT systems needed a review and overhaul but just didnt know where to start. Not to mention, we didnt really have loads of money to waste. The IT Healthcheck gave us a clear idea of what we needed and where to start. We particularly appreciated that each recommendation was given a suggested priority level because this enabled us to allocate what limited funds we had to the most important areas. As a result our IT systems are now well on the way to becoming more efficient, effective and user friendly.
CISA is still offering IT healthchecks, for a fee depending on the size of the business or organisation. CISA is an independent not-for-profit and has no vendor commission arrangements.

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Mr Doug Jacquier, CEO

P: 0882128555
M: 0408955541


IT Healthchecks could save community and small business millions


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