“Anything that is not managed will deteriorate”
–Bob Parsons, American entrepreneur, billionaire and founder of GoDaddy
The most important difference between outsourced technology management and hiring an in-house “tech guru” is the bandwidth each has available to correct little issues, so they never become big, expensive issues. Technology changes quickly, so any employee charged with long-term network management needs to balance daily check-ups with pro-active maintenance and preventative care.
Unfortunately, we tend to see more technology problems in businesses utilizing a single employee to manage their network. It could be that small businesses try to do everything themselves in the hopes they’ll save money and complexity. In reality, the opposite is true. When an entire network is managed by one person, the health of each part of the network is very dependent on that person’s mindset, availability, and areas of expertise.
So, what happens when your tech person just isn’t meeting your needs anymore?
Gregg Landers, director of growth management at CBIZ MHM, a large accounting and business services provider, recommends outsourcing IT. He outlines three categories of tasks that are better outsourced:
· Specialized knowledge. "An example might be the IT support for your accounting system or your network. You may not be able to afford or need a full-time IT person, and it is easier to change to an outsourced provider with the right skill set as your IT needs change."
· Highly skilled, or executive, expertise. “For example, you may not need to pay a CFO's salary, but you could have a CFO-level person to come in a few times each month to provide financial analysis and ensure that the bookkeeper is handling the books well”
· Highly repetitive tasks. “Accounts payable, data entry and shipping inventory could fall into this category.”
Finding the Right Technology Provider
Before handing over the reins to your network, be sure you're working with the right partner. Consider how long they’ve been proactively managing hardware, software, and IT budgets for a business your size. Find out where their help desk and remote support are located and how easy it is to access these services.
Even more importantly, find out how available they are for onsite support, and for consulting with you on where the business is headed and how to leverage your technology to get there. It may be a good idea to interview a couple of technology providers before deciding on which is the right fit for your company. Start with your own business network; ask other presidents, CEO’s and principals who they trust to manage technology issues and find out how long they’ve been with that provider.
From our perspective, there’s nothing more rewarding than helping a business double in size over five years by keeping their technology costs predictable and issues to a minimum. If you have additional questions about how to manage your technology network responsibly, visit us at www.myzenit.com