Technology has never been so complex, intertwined and mission-critical as it is in today’s business environment. It can be a company’s greatest asset or its biggest downfall. It is also extremely multi-disciplinary and requires deep expertise in numerous disciplines to be effectively leveraged. So why do so many companies still think they can hire an “IT guy” who can do it all? In this article, I intend to explore why this is still a common misconception and expose the reasons why you should fire your IT guy.
Why did you hire an IT guy in the first place?
Chances are you hired an IT guy as a knee-jerk reaction to pain that you were feeling as you grew. At the time, your justification was probably related to the fact that things were unstable and you needed a wide array of support. So you hired someone you thought was a “technologist”, a technology generalist who could navigate the mysterious technology challenges to bring all the disparate pieces of your environment into alignment. This was likely a big investment at the time, and you had high hopes that it would be a long-term solution that would keep you ahead of the curve and help you sleep better at night.
What actually happened?
Whether you know this or not, what actually happened is this individual did what every human does: worked hard to stay up on everything then slowly regressed to what they liked/were good at.
Perhaps unbeknownst to you, your IT person has been slowly focusing more and more myopically on what they are really good at. Perhaps they are really good at server infrastructure with a little networking thrown in. Perhaps they like configuring cloud software or maybe they are interested in networking (you can usually figure this out in the interview if you know what to look for by the way).
Inevitably, as time has passed, other pieces of your technology that are critical to your success have been neglected. You have strayed from strategy, and your IT person is likely either really bored or really busy fighting fires that they are ill-equipped to put out efficiently.
Why you should consider other options?
When technology is applied effectively, it starts from a strategic place. It involves an investigation of where the company is going, long and short term, and an overlay of the benefits and risks of technology in assisting in these goals. This needs to be weighed with the additional dimensions of budget and timeline.
In the end, you should have a multi-dimensional strategic set of plans to follow and a team capable of efficient execution. You will not find this (ever) with a general technologist. Just like you won’t ever find a Doctor that you would trust to give you your annual physical, complete your Lasik surgery, diagnose your chronic health issue, set your broken bone and handle your ongoing physical therapy along the way. Specialists are specialists for a good reason, efficiency and risk mitigation being top of the list!
All of these reasons don’t even delve into the scary reality that you may have the fate of your business resting on the shoulders of someone incompetent and/or malicious!
What are your other options?
The Managed IT Services model is the best alternative to the solo-IT person methodology for managing technology. The value proposition is simple, for less than the cost staffing the function in-house, you get a comprehensive suite of services from a diverse team. With this, you get multi-disciplinary skill sets, enterprise-grade technology management tools, accountability, a built-in R&D department for technology, technology purchasing department and strategic guidance & budgeting.
If you have an in-house IT person or small department, you owe it to your business to look at the Managed Services model. Upward Technology is a leader in our industry and would be happy to provide a no-cost consultation (discretely of course).