Recently, we have received more calls from companies with an in-house IT Manager looking for outside help. After visiting these companies and seeing their situation it had us wondering how many other companies are in this same boat. So, we looked into it.
One of the biggest obstacles any company faces is their budget. Whether it is a large or small budget, every company can see the value of having a little more for this and for that. When it comes to IT, too many times the leaders of the company think “IT” is the internet and computer workstations, and nothing else. So, the leader’s ability to analyze the need of servers, firewalls and other business grade measures, isn’t on par with the company’s legitimate need. This lack of understanding leads the business to undervalue and underpay when it comes to their IT dept. or IT Managed Service Provider (MSP).
How to fix this issue: company leaders need to do their due diligence:
- Ask other company leaders in the same market to see what they do for IT
- Reach out to an MSP for a consultation
- Be proactive. Ask your current IT dept./MSP if anything needs to be planned for in the next 1-3 years’ budgets.
Too Many Roles
Another issue we have run into a lot lately, compounds off of the budget constraints. Companies will hire someone to perform one job and also tag on “IT Director” into their job description because they have a certain level of understanding of IT. For example, we have seen companies (yes, more than one) hire a graphics/design engineer, and since “they know how to operate a computer,” they assume they can operate IT for the entire company. It is a very rare case that this is feasible long term. Usually this person can handle a lot of the desktop support but not necessarily manage the company’s infrastructure.
Not to mention, if one’s main job (position they were hired to perform) is part of the process of “making money for the company” what is the likelihood of:
- The company allowing this individual to spend adequate time on “the second job” that doesn’t “make money for the company?”
- The individual spending the adequate time on “the second job” knowing his/her “first job” is the position they applied for, and wanted in the first place?
Nobody wants to do IT as a side job. Plain and simple. The only people who truly enjoy working with IT are the ones who do it all day, every day with a passion for IT and allowing your business to run at its most secure and efficient way possible. Shamelessly inserts plug for Clutch Technologies here.
Growth and Expansion
If we had to guess and “throw a figure out there.” We would say 85% of businesses would like to grow and expand. The only reason it isn’t hire, is we understand there are some businesses people do for fun, because they enjoy it and have the time. In keeping with the majority of businesses wanting to grow and expand, their vision typically excludes the needs of their IT dept. and/or IT equipment to grow and expand along with the company.
It is too easy for a company to look out on the floor and want to fill that empty desk in the corner with another sales person instead of an IT person. Money and greed overrules security and function all too often. Leadership must be reminded about the IT needs to grow. Does your company have the infrastructure capabilities to hire 1 more person? How about 10 more people? To have 10 more projects going on at once? These types of demands are not out of the ordinary for a company expanding. But if the infrastructure isn’t up to par, these lofty ideas and goals can fall flat on their face without consulting with the IT dept./MSP. A landscaping business can only cut so many yards with one person and one mower. Their expansion won’t work efficiently if they hire four more people and only one mower.
Supervisors Lack of Knowledge/Trust
Andre Carnegie said “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” Great leaders respect their employees, trust in them, and know how to push them to achieve desired goals. But, not all leaders are great and some of them aren’t even good for that matter. At the end of the day dysfunctional leadership makes its way from top to bottom in a company, no matter how big or small it is. Dysfunctional leaders create employees too scared to speak up, too scared to make the right decision and all too often, too scared to do their job, thinking it will upset the “leader.”
Leaders must trust their employees’ knowledge in their specialty area. If leaders don’t, it is no different than hiring an architect to perform a root canal or hiring a dentist to design the golden gate bridge. If a leader doesn’t trust his/her employees, something is broken.
Poor Hiring Decisions
Who you hire and what they bring to the table is extremely important. This isn’t something that people don’t know, it’s something that is overlooked and forgotten about, so consider this a reminder.
Certain forgotten or not thought of things to remember:
- Call references
- Ask yourself and hiring team questions like:
- Does this person know the job?
- Will this person fit in with other employees?
- What is the risk vs. reward with hiring this person?
- Is this the type of person that can take us to our next step?
- The “safe hire” isn’t always the “best hire”
- Don’t get caught up in “will this person be here long term”
- If it doesn’t work out, don’t be scared to find someone else
In closing, we want to add to number 4 above. Sometimes having someone “long term” can lead to a laundry list of issues that start with complacency. Sure, having someone long term can be a good thing, but if from day one, it seems like a “forever job” it could lead to major issues along the way. Think of highly motivated people, the “go-getters.” They want to come in, do as much as possible in a short amount of time, and then move on to their next best job. For a lot of companies out there, this is nothing but a major benefit.
At the end of the day, find room in your budget, emphasize good leadership, hire capable people, don’t spread them too thin, trust your employees and don’t be scared to replace employees that aren’t a good fit.
As always, there are statements made that can be interpreted differently as well as differing situational positions. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to let us know.