Success in IT requires adhering to process. It is all too common for organizations who have employed one tech professional to lack process. On rare occasions, some businesses can hire IT professionals who may bring plenty of skills and experience to the company — there are many strong IT people around. And these individuals can bring in proper IT processes, but still, this is a major undertaking as the IT person must plug all the processes into the organization and then continue to maintain them on an ongoing basis.
Despite the very best of intentions, hiring an internal IT person will typically end up resulting in a break-fix model of support and the person will be kept busy by having to put out fires. Thereby, missing out on the proactive or more planned out level of IT management. It is a lot to ask of a single individual tech person — no fault necessarily directed at them.
Most techs have a broad range of knowledge, skills, and experience, however, no single person knows all there is to know about IT support, management, processes and tools. Certainly, keeping up with the ever-changing IT landscape is a full-time job in itself. We know this, as we provide education and training to our Dolphins, individual users as well as whole organizations by way of our live, instructor-led webinars.
Even with good process and policy in place, the individual needs to adhere to those processes and policies; creating them and following them are two different animals. On the surface this sounds redundant or perhaps academic in nature, but it is a monumental task. It takes a lot of discipline to stick to process, especially as a single-person department with little to no accountability.
Process can feel very bureaucratic especially when the IT person is working by him or herself, and nobody is holding them to task. Who is going to care if he or she does not document that or that little change? Or who will remind them of the updates to the latest security patches this month? The organization that has the one-person IT department will need a disciplined individual leading their IT; they need to work independently and in the best interest of the company. And often, the company will need to invest in the help and direction of an outside service provider. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?
The costs of being autocratic
Let’s not forget the expense and the inherent risks of hiring an internal IT person. Recruiting, hiring, training, providing benefits, and repeating the process should they leave the company. What potential IT situation is there to untangle when a new hire replaces a past IT person? A business which does not have general IT knowledge outside of who they have hired, will need an audit or IT assessment to find out from an independent source what is in place and what isn’t and how to go about providing an infrastructure for a new IT person.
Smart Dolphins IT Solutions has been in this business now for over two decades and we continue to build our processes, but as a large team with a large amount of technology to manage across many clients, we are intimate with the importance of developing and adhering to process and policy. IT is in our DNA.
Our virtual chief information officers (vCIOs) understand technology as well as business and make themselves well-informed of each client when developing IT roadmaps. VCIOs at Smart Dolphins IT Solutions harness the collective knowledge and experience of a powerful team of IT professionals.
Definition of a process
A process is a series of steps and decisions involved in the way work is planned, started and completed. We may not realize it, but processes are everywhere and in every aspect of our leisure and work. Or there should be process involved in most or all aspects of structure in most aspects of business and life.
Making breakfast in the morning, travelling to work, working through the day and all your business affairs. Debating about contracting a human resources company versus hiring an internal HR person. The same can be said for looking at services such as janitorial, coffee service, paper shredding, document management and of course IT support. And of those example IT should be a strategic part of your business.
A process consists of several steps:
- Steps and decisions, perhaps a flowchart. A series of steps and decisions describing the way work is completed.
- Variability of processing time and flow; the pattern of processing and perhaps a timetable.
- Timing and interdependence: when things arrive and outcomes, when people work, for example.
- Assignment of resources describing who does what, how many and where are they assigned.
The definition of a process illustrates the behavior of the current system. Using this information linked in a model, the characteristics of the system can be adjusted, and the key metrics tested against best practices or prior functions — you know, prior to investing. A thorough analysis may be required.
Would you like to see how the elements of the expanded process definition are tied together in an easy-to-understand model? Would you like to experience a well-planned roadmap carefully crafted by one of our professional vCIOs?
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About Smart Dolphins IT Solutions
Over the last 21 years, we’ve been helping small and mid-size organizations drive efficiency and productivity by ensuring that their systems are fast, secure and reliable. During this time, we’ve fine-tuned a very special process of auditing and aligning our clients with world-class standards and best practices.