There might come a point when you realise you’re spending too much time, energy, and worry on your business IT systems. You realise you need help, so how can you go about it?
For a typical SME in the UK there are two avenues available.
One approach is to engage an IT services company to work with you. This will bring expertise in depth from experienced senior staff which means you’ll get strategic advice to help you plan and budget. It will also provide effective IT support with a team of experienced technicians available when you need them.
The other avenue is to recruit your own employee to handle your IT requirements. This presents another choice and then six more points to ponder.
Option 1 – recruit a junior IT technician
The first option is to appoint a technician at a fairly junior level. This person will be on hand to support you and your staff whenever problems arise. At a junior level they will be a cheaper option than employing an experienced IT Manager. You will be able to have them trained to develop their own IT expertise in the months which follow.
This will be a comforting option because you’ll have someone close at hand. This IT person won’t be distracted by any other role in your business, so they’ll be available to help out with desk-side IT support at a moment’s notice.
If you have recurring IT problems needing immediate attention, this could be a viable solution. You will be able to ask for their help to reduce the number of IT issues affecting your business. Aim to recruit a desk-side IT support person who also has the experience to change your systems towards the reliability you need, to advise on the best IT approach to enable your business growth, and to spend your IT budget wisely.
Three points to ponder:
- As a Director of an organisation with perhaps less than 100 staff, is it reasonable to have so many IT issues that you need a full-time person to support your colleagues?
- If you do have lots of issues, will a junior technician be capable of effectively resolving the underlying problems?
- After your deeper IT problems have been resolved, how can they best contribute to your business?
Option 2 – recruit an experienced IT Manager
The other recruitment option is to appoint an experienced IT Manager. This will bring you a board-room ally who can plan ahead, go to market to seek the best solutions for your circumstances, and help you budget for any developments needed.
This more senior IT person will be able to explain and justify reasons for planned expenditure. Having a decent budget available for a number of new projects will keep your IT Manager committed to your organisation. You’ll have time to understand what they propose to spend your budget on. You’ll appreciate the complications of in-house system development and the different levels of risk assumed by your business.
Aim to recruit an experienced IT Manager who is also able to relate to your staff at all levels and who enjoys helping with personal computer issues.
Your IT Manager will also take care to document the technical details of your systems. This will build resilience and enable a swift bounce-back for your business should anything go wrong.
Three more points to ponder:
- How can you give your IT Manager experience of IT in other organisations, to keep his or her knowledge current and your technology aligned with best practice?
- After fundamental problems with your IT systems have been resolved, will you have enough new projects to keep your IT Manager fully engaged?
- If you won’t have a steady stream of projects, is a senior IT Manager a cost-effective way to have desk-side computer support for your colleagues?
Here at Excellimore we’ve helped a number of clients to recruit their own IT Manager and of course we’d be pleased to help you too. We’re always happy to have a conversation.