Companies with over 50 computers can start to see the benefits of scale when it comes to the professional management of their technology and systems. At this size, implementing standard policies and procedures, employee training programs, and systems to measure productivity begin to pay off. But on the other hand, downtime and inefficiencies can have a debilitating effect on the business and can quickly compound and spiral out of control. At this level, it is critical to have professional IT management systems and tools in place.
Some businesses with over 50 computers feel that they should have an internal IT resource on staff. Therefore, they will often look for someone willing to step up and be the in-house IT "go-to" person, in addition to their other responsibilities. The problem is that with under 100 computers, there usually isn't enough IT management or tech work to keep someone busy full-time, never mind justifying the cost of a dedicated person on the payroll. Even if you felt that you could justify a full-time support technician, ultimately, that person could become the most significant single point of failure of your IT infrastructure.
Is it a good idea to use an existing staff member for part-time IT support?
"Larry doesn't seem to be busy all day; let's put him in charge of network support..."
This might sound like a good idea, but it usually isn't. "Larry" either wants to do tech support work, or he doesn't.
If Larry isn't interested in becoming an expert at IT management and network support, then obviously, having him as the single person responsible for it will be a big mistake.
On the other hand, if he IS interested, he will undoubtedly dive right in and before long tell you that he is now too busy and doesn't want to do his old job anymore. Congratulations, you are now paying for a full-time IT person who probably has no professional IT training or experience. Oh, and if you resist and tell "Larry" that he needs to keep doing his old job as well, he will have no problem finding a new job as an IT "expert" based on the on-the-job training that you have just provided. The only person who knows anything about how your systems work has now left, and you get to start all over, but with more complex systems that are probably not documented. We see this all the time, and this is how it almost always ends.
Companies with under 100 computers that maintain a full-time IT manager often end up in a similar situation. We call it the "small business IT systems cycle of torture." Until you are able and willing to staff a professional IT Department, with proper management systems in place, handling IT in-house will usually be a struggle.
There is a better way.
White Mountain provides expert Managed IT Services as well as professional network support, systems, and processes to keep your business running smoothly.
When it comes to in-house IT staff, remember the old saying "Two is one, and One is None." As your dependence on technology grows and becomes essential to your ability to conduct business and communicate, you need to ensure that your business has redundancy for both digital and human resources. Most businesses of this size find that it is clearly in the company's best interest to outsource some or all of their needs to a Managed Service Provider. One of the many benefits of working with a professional Managed Service Provider is found in the very first word, Managed.
Proactive oversight and management of documentation, tasks, best practices, projects, and technical staff can make the difference between an IT infrastructure that seems always to drag down profits and productivity, and one that is truly a business enabler. A Managed Service Provider that operates on a flat rate budget to support hundreds of clients and thousands of users understands the importance of standards, documentation, training, and efficiency, and can help you raise your productivity and profits to new levels.
With a comprehensive Managed IT platform from White Mountain, you can be assured that your day-to-day IT management and support needs will be handled in a professional, cost-effective manner. With networks having between 50 and 100 computers it is critical to address the source of problems, inefficiencies, and unexpected expenses, rather than being stuck in the weeds chasing the symptoms without ever resolving the underlying issues. A business your size has the scale to justify investing in solutions that will help avoid the problems in the first place, our Managed IT and Virtual CIO Services can help you get the job done!
If your business requires a full-time onsite support person and you would prefer to keep them on the payroll, you can maintain the tech work in-house and outsource the IT management to us. White Mountain can help by providing the management systems, structure, oversight, and backup to help ensure that your business never gets stuck in the IT systems cycle of torture.
Our IT Consulting, Co-Managed IT, and Virtual CIO Services can help, here are a few of the many ways that White Mountain can help address the bigger picture, to keep your IT systems on track and aligned with your business needs.
- Institute a Cyber Security training program
- Establish and review written security policies and guidelines
- Standardize and document routine IT and HR procedures
- Define computer training requirements for key job positions
- Evaluate and define performance requirements for critical IT systems and functions
- Review Service Desk reports, identifying opportunities for improving efficiency and systems
- Review asset management reports and procedures for decommissioning old hardware
- Establish a baseline budget for technology and support costs
- Evaluate cloud services before purchasing additional servers
- Establish a Virtual CIO position to support the overall business strategy
Do you have a small internal tech team that needs help?
If you only have a few internal IT staff, it can be challenging to dedicate the management resources required to maintain a high level of user satisfaction, training, documentation, and best practices. Without an experienced and dedicated IT Manager overseeing the team, you are essentially asking the tech team to manage themselves, which can be a frustrating experience for all involved.
If your IT team feels that they are pulled in too many directions, and are too busy just keeping up with the day to day issues and project work, you can be pretty sure that they are having a hard time keeping up with documentation, proper system management, and other best practices.
The good news is that we have a service division with customized services and staff dedicated to Co-Managed IT. Our team at IT Guardian can provide turnkey solutions for the most common IT Management and Support challenges.
If you think it may be time for a change, give us a call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs. We are experts at providing discreet and confidential advice on protecting your business and avoiding problems and disruptions when replacing your IT Support provider. There is no reason to put up with a never-ending cycle of problems and frustrations, give White Mountain a call and let us help you make things right!