Look at your balance sheet to see how many people you employ and how much you invest each year in maintaining and managing your data center. None of those people are in your industry, so how do you know they’re the right people, or doing the right things? The increasing need for information management technology doesn’t mean you have to start an IT business within your business. Learn how you can engage external resources to reduce expense and get you back to focusing on what your company does for a living.

  • Are you wasting money?
  • More specifically, are you wasting money on how your company uses information technology (IT)?
  • Can you even tell?

These questions aren’t meant to be insulting, or to demean your IT department. Many companies can confidently answer no to the first two and yes to the third. But the fact remains that you are not in the IT business (if you are, please re-read the title) and therefore may not have the experience needed to build the most highly effective IT organization.

What You Need to Know

To build an excellent organization you need to start with someone who knows what well-trained technologists look like. Experienced IT executives learn over time how to properly evaluate candidates for positions like Technician, Engineer, Developer, and others. They have developed methodologies over time to test the knowledge of the people they are considering for hire.

They also know what questions to ask when evaluating a plan or a proposal for system improvement. They can quickly determine what is worth the money, and what is not. They can avoid and prevent waste.

The corporate position of Chief Information Officer usually also requires a deep background of business operations and processes. Technology is great, but completely useless until it is properly applied to support business processes and solve operational challenges. Your CIO should not be bothered putting out IT firefights. They are your strategic leader to ensure technology is giving you a competitive advantage.

In smaller and mid-sized companies, the responsibility to build any kind of IT operation is often relegated to someone whose education and background did not prepare them for the assignment. They may be Art Directors, Facilities Managers, Financial Executives, or others. Perhaps someone who has mentioned the computer they have at home and how they like to use it.

The problem is that these decisions often snowball into a series of poorly considered decisions that leave the company with a less-than satisfactory IT operation.

There are Many Forms of Help

Most companies function somewhere in the midst of the scale from best to worst IT implementation. Not awful, but not optimal. The scale starts with companies that simply use IT

tactically to get certain things done with no plan or program to achieve synergies. With good fortune, or smart planning, some start to see ways in which key functions can be completely renovated for better results.

Ultimately, some companies achieve true IT maturity using technology very effectively to achieve strategic advantage and create competitive superiority. This seldom happens, however, with the wrong people at the helm.

Since you’re not in the IT business, your best strategy will be to turn to someone who is. Not to say you need to fire everyone and replace what you have with a completely outsourced team. That may be the best solution for a few companies.

Rather, enlist the assistance and guidance of a team that is focused on helping you create as much advantage for yourself as possible. Have that team help you recruit the right leadership and start the operation moving in the right direction. Perhaps you’ve gone as far as you can with your current IT operation but feel you could do better. Have an external IT partner come in and work with your existing IT leadership to figure out what’s missing and how to obtain it.

Partner with an IT provider that can lead your business to calmer waters

The word “support” suggests something that helps something else function. There is no connotation of supplanting or replacing anything in the term. The support you receive from expert resources may lead you to decide to replace certain components, or even certain employees, but that’s never a given and you disserve yourself to enter into support discussions without having that in mind.

Synoptek talks about simplified technology and superior results. Simplified technology is usually far easier for your own employees to use and support. If you’re not achieving the superior results you expected, hold us responsible and have us come back to work more with your team to make certain they are fully self-sufficient.

Synoptek IS in the IT business, and our goal is to make sure the IT operation in your business is delivering superior results at all times.

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About the Author

Senior Resultant Howard M. Cohen is a 30+ year executive veteran of the Information Technology industry who continues his commitment to the channel as writer, presenter, and advisor to many channel partners, ISVs, MSPs, CSPs, manufacturers, distributors and more. He is also featured regularly on such IT industry publications as The Dell/Microsoft Migration Expert Zone, Channel Insider, Insight ON Service Providers, Redmond Channel Partner Channel Partner magazine, and MSPMentor. Howard’s commitment to the IT industry community includes service on many vendor advisory panels including the Apple, Compaq, HP, IBM, and NEC Service Advisory Councils, the Ingram Micro Service Network board and as a U.S. Board member of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners. Howard is a frequent speaker at IT industry events that include Microsoft’s WorldWide Partner Conference, Citrix Synergy/Summit, ConnectWise IT Nation, ChannelPro Forums, Cloud Partners Summit, MicroCorp One-On-One, and CompTIA ChannelCon. He also hosts and presents webinars and eSeminars for QuinStreet, UBM and others. He refers to himself as a “Senior Resultant” because he has always understood that we are all measured only by our results.