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Internal vs. External IT – Which one should you choose

Internal vs External IT

Managing an IT department can be a daunting task. Information Technology is a world of its own, with personalities that most managers choose not to engage. Not saying that IT people are anti-social or “weirdos,’ it’s just that they develop a different personality to keep them focused while working with complex technology.

One of the most difficult tasks for an Owner or Manager is keeping their IT people motivated for long-term growth within the company. As most managers have experienced firsthand, IT staff can become bored and thus have short tenures, leaving the company with expensive training and management costs.

So, here’s the question, with your growing business, are you prepared to manage IT internally, or would you prefer someone else do it?

Internal vs. External

A common complaint we here from our clients, before becoming our client of-course, is that they just can’t seem to hold onto a good IT person. “We spent a lot of money and time training and growing the person, only to see them leave to competitor” or “I just can’t seem to get our IT person motivated to complete tasks on time, she doesn’t seem to like what she’s doing” we often hear.

There are many reasons why IT people become stagnant or end up leaving after a few years, or sooner. There’s a long-list, but one of the main reasons is a lack of understanding between management and their IT. After working with several Internal IT teams, we’ve noticed that there is a disconnect between management and IT. IT people want to work with latest and greatest tech without considering things like budgets and business needs, while management thinks mostly in terms of budgets and business needs. Both are right and both are wrong!

Common complaints we here from internal IT people includes “we don’t have the right tools to properly support the environment” or “we need to move on to a new platform, but management says we don’t have it in the budget.”

Like with any conflict, the goal is to find common ground by sitting down and speaking with your IT people and listening to some of their concerns, and why new technology or changes are needed, then come to an agreement on whether or not it makes sense for the business.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing…does the IT Support model you’re currently using work for the type of business and business climate  you’re in?

Here’s a quick survey to determine if you’re ready to have someone else manage IT

  • My current IT person seems bored and disengaged; I can’t seem to reach him/ her (True/ False)
  • I’m having a hard time managing and keeping up with tasks I’ve assigned for IT (True / False)
  • I’m not sure if important items like IT Security and data Backups are being done properly or if my IT person is saying it’s done (True / False)
  • I have had several IT people leave after providing training (True / False)
  • My current guy is a one-man show and we’re afraid that he might leave or go on vacation, leaving us with no support (True/ False)
  • Our Network information, passwords and other important information is managed by one person, I am concerned that he/she may leave (True / False)
  • We need to purchase expensive support software like network monitoring, but we don’t have that in the budget (True / False)

If you answered True to 3 or more to questions, then it’s best that you transition the responsibilities to someone else.

Here’s what we do at Level 4 IT

  • We fully manage the IT resources of our clients. Computers, Servers, Routers, Switches…basically anything that’s connected to the network
  • We provide all support software. We know which software to use, whether it’s Network Monitoring, Network Packet Sniffers, Bandwidth management, IT Security software, Anti-virus, Web Blockers, Take-Control, we have custom software that we use included within our management plans. We even have software you probably never heard to handle special situations that can arise
  • We have a team environment, so that support is consistent. Over the years, we’ve had IT people that have left the company, however, our clients never see a lapse in support, or have to worry about hiring and training someone new. All our techs have backups that can easily fill-in in the event of a vacation, emergency or departure, and we’re consistently training new people
  • We have a hierarchy, so support is controlled, monitored and managed by people with the right background and expertise. Our clients have access to a full Help Desk staff, Mid-Level Team and a Senior, more expert, staff members
  • We sort-of, have a nerdy team environment to keep our staff engaged and happy