For larger small businesses (25 to 100 computers/employees), the IT labour requirements of their computer network can be significant enough that consideration is given to hiring a full time employee to dedicate to the IT Support roles. The alternatives are having an in-house employee support the organization on a part time basis, while also serving other significant roles. Or a company can outsource their IT support to companies like Smart Dolphins. There are a number of considerations here, many of which are often overlooked. I will be sharing some of these considerations through a series of six blogs over the coming weeks. Here is the fifth.
Last week I outlined some of the dangers of over-investing in I.T. support. This week I will be going over some of the challenges of developing and adhering to process for the one-person tech department.
Success in IT requires developing process and it is common for companies with a one-person tech department to have very little process. On rare occasion, some companies can hire IT professionals with lots of skills and experience and these folks can bring in proper IT process. This is still a major undertaking as they have to plug all the process into the organization and maintain it.
Even with good process and policy in place, the individual needs to adhere to the process and policy. It takes a lot of discipline to stick to process, especially as a lone technician. Process can feel very bureaucratic when you’re working by yourself and nobody is holding you accountable. Who’s going to care if you don’t document that “little change” you made to the server? Who is going to know that you skipped testing the restoration of your server from backup or update the latest security patches on the server this month? The organization that has the one person IT department will need a disciplined individual leading their IT.
Smart Dolphins has been in this business now for over 12 years and we’re still building our processes, but as a large team with LOTS of technology to manage across many clients, we definitely know the importance of developing and adhering to process and policy. Many small companies are reinventing the wheel we have been investing in for over a decade. Would you like to know more about our process? I have shared this with many business people and am happy to share this with you (Unless you’re an evil competitor).
Next week I will be discussing when it definitely makes sense to have an internal technical employee.