21 Oct Fire the IT Guy
The title to this blog is not going to make any of us at TetherView popular with IT Managers.
However, we think it’s addressing a sobering reality amongst business IT leaders. Most businesses large and small think of IT as being responsible for anything plugged into the wall, plus anything that is performed on a computer; following that philosophy means IT is responsible for EVERYTHING. By asking the “IT Guy” or “IT Team” to manage the copy machine, email, website, security (physical and cyber), compliance, phones, mobile phones, CRM, ERP (well, you get the picture)—your IT person will be less effective or even counter-productive to the goals and long-term strategies of a company.
The IT person has been in house for years—so what do we do? You let them focus on the company’s core business.
Here are 3 Major Reasons to outsource parts of the “IT Puzzle”:
Let’s take a step out of the IT occupational space for a minute. In the medical field, there are hundreds and hundreds of fields of practitioners and surgeons all specializing in a specific niche of medicine. By solely focusing on their area of expertise, they have the time and ability to hone in on best practices and solve complex diagnosis and patient cases. So, would you go to an Orthopedic if you needed Brain Surgery? Definitely not.
Like the medical field, the IT field is made up of countless different areas all of which require a specialist with expert skills to both innovate and effectively solve problems. Why would you put the entire scope of your IT infrastructure on one guy or a small team? We’re not saying your IT guy isn’t smart… we’re saying that the magnitude and scope of work is too great for any one man or small team to handle.
Don’t hire a generalist when you need a team of specialists.
An IT generalist will help you with anti-virus, firewalls, email and application set-up—but that’s about it. If something complex were to happen, your IT person or team is going to require external resources and research to solve the problem. Now, your company is at a standstill. In order to solve that complex issue, you need to spend money on resources that you were ultimately trying to save.
Let’s say your company experiences a ransomware breach. Your IT guy may be prepared to check servers, try to find backups or even try to recover the missing information. Once he’s burned through his checklist of skills and past experiences—he or she will likely be on Google or YouTube trying to figure out how to fix the problem.
An IT generalist is something of the past. With technology advancing faster than we care to admit, a generalist just doesn’t offer any value to a company. In fact, if you have a generalist at the helm of your IT department, you have a ticking time bomb.
Most SMBs are unfamiliar with what their IT guy or team does –just ask the support team or business owner. It’s even more difficult for a business owner to gauge how well their IT person or support department is performing. The underlying question is how does a manager or business owner quantify the results and performance of an IT person / team? How does he or she know that the IT department is effectively and efficiently handling every component of their IT infrastructure? If it’s a single IT person to 2 to 3-person team there is absolutely no way they’re properly managing the architecture, stability, risk management & security, just to name a few.
IT might be the most important function in a company—more so than sales, marketing or accounting. Even with a team of three very smart IT people, how do you evaluate if the department is managed or even performing well? The sad reality is that an IT person or team will be exposed the minute there’s a breach to their company.
The most common place we see the single or small team of IT professionals fall the shortest is in long-term planning and innovation.
Most IT professionals fail when it comes to long-term planning. They’re great at handling and executing specific tasks—but few have the foresight to implement a company’s goals into a long-term plan. Part of the reason why this is a challenge for an IT person or team is because there’s never time to innovate or conduct adequate R&D for new projects. Additionally, an IT person or team’s budget is generally much lower than a company spends on marketing (read our paper on technology spend to learn how to avoid that pitfall). Finally, the disadvantage of experimenting with a poorly researched and budgeted new solution is the risk of making a troublesome, expensive, or embarrassing mistake.
Ultimately, these inherit disadvantages will come to light and the value of the department will diminish because they don’t line up with the company line of advancing in the 21st century.
So often, when we talk to a company after a major cyber incident—they always tell us how under-prepared they were. What they don’t realize is that the lack of preparation came as a result of the complexities of IT. Moreover, just because somebody knows computers, doesn’t make them the right fit to strategically guide a growing company.
At TetherView we build Digital Bunkers™ for businesses. Our specialists provide and maintain your private cloud services supporting your applications on compliant and highly secured virtual servers and desktops. Your data never leaves your Digital Bunker™ but is securely accessible by your employees on virtually any device that is connected to the internet. Our customers improve their efficiency and focus on growing their businesses, not on their IT infrastructure and cyber-security; that’s our core expertise.
Keep your IT Team in place, and let TetherView provide the infrastructure, desktops, servers, security and compliance. This will enable your IT team to deploy the technology to make your business more efficient, productive and relevant.