As the needs of your small business evolve, your employees within your company are often required to evolve as well – even if that means doing jobs within the company that they were not hired to do or trained to do – like performing IT functions. How would your small business benefit if your IT people were doing what they were trained to do instead of managing IT and putting out IT-related fires?
I often speak with business owners and company presidents who view their employees who function in the role of IT management as essential but under-utilized, negatively affecting the company's ROI. Recently, I spoke with a man who has been working for the same company for 34 years. He had managed facilities and teams of employees and had gained a wealth of valuable knowledge during his time working for the company. However, the responsibility of solving IT problems has fallen on his shoulders; being self-taught and overwhelmed, he is not the most effective IT support the company could have, nor was he as satisfied in the role as he'd been in other roles in the past that used his true expertise. This company may not getting the most value out of this employee; they could probably reach their business goals more quickly if he was not bogged down with managing IT tasks. Finding the right IT people can be difficult, so it is natural for business owners to gravitate toward people they already know and trust, even if they are not IT professionals.
Some smaller companies may find it natural to put their controller in charge of IT, believing it will make capital management easier. However, if it keeps the controller from doing mission-critical activities such as analyzing product profitability, customer profitability, or analyzing receivables and cash flow, it may not be the best option. These are serious financial tasks that could benefit the business, but if the controller is focused on making sure the network is secure and that downtime is minimized, his focus will not be on financial security. How much are you sacrificing when you put a productive employee where they are less efficient with the responsibility of IT management on their shoulders?
There are solutions to small business IT management issues that will allow you to return your non-IT people to jobs where they are more productive and outsource IT management. Non-IT employees who concentrate on their area of expertise may make them more efficient.
By employing small business IT management options that make best use of your resources, both financial and human, you can make IT costs more predictable, implementing infrastructure and processes that drive your business forward. To survive in today’s business world, you need high-functioning and efficient IT.
- Implementing a comprehensive IT management plan allows you to place employees where they can best benefit your business; an employee not trained in IT but handing your IT can be a misuse of resources.
- An ineffective IT staff may be eating up valuable resources that you could be using elsewhere.
- There are options available that improve your IT infrastructure that can help drive your business forward.