A solid IT infrastructure can be something that you don’t know you need until you’ve experienced an unreliable one, and just as important is having solid people to maintain that infrastructure. However, underestimating your business’ IT needs is a common pitfall. You may think that you can handle all of your technological needs yourself, or maybe you can leave it on another employee’s punchlist.
Maintaining the IT services of a successful business is much more difficult than you may imagine. Attempting to solve an issue or maintain day-to-day operations when you’re not 100% sure of what you’re doing, or handing the job off to someone who is inexperienced, can have serious consequences for your business’ IT infrastructure and your company as a whole.
When you have an IT knowledge gap, there are a few things you can do. Some of these solutions, however, can be time-intensive and inflexible – overall, not a very good investment. If your team needs help learning how to manage your IT services there is a more flexible option: outsourcing IT training from a professional team.
The Dangers of Not Knowing Your Technology
A company’s IT needs depends on many factors. The size of the business, the industry vertical, and the goals of its leadership are some of the aspects that help determine a company’s IT infrastructure. Nevertheless, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant your company’s needs may appear, they are probably more complex than you can accurately asses. A busy and growing business requires more IT knowledge than just setting up your company’s printers or employee email accounts.
You could take a chance and attempt to maintain your IT infrastructure without having the complete knowledge of how to do so. However, taking a chance on this can result in irreversible errors: data loss, security vulnerabilities, and network downtime. Any of these will hinder work productivity and risk client relations.
So, if you’re somewhat convinced that you’re unprepared to handle your company’s IT needs, what can you do? Here are some of your options.
Option #1: Hire a Systems Administrator
If your business has IT needs to be met, it would make sense for you to first consider hiring someone to take care of these issues. But even though you may feel comfortable having a system administrator or network analyst on-site during business hours, you might be surprised to learn how much such a position costs. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for an IT specialist is $71,000, and that’s not including benefits.
Besides the costs of hiring a new employee, it takes time to find the right person with the right knowledge to reliably manage your company’s IT needs. While you could work with a tech recruiting firm to help find talent to fill this position, you’re still expected to pay fees of nearly double the annual salary, and at the end of it, you still aren’t guaranteed a quality candidate who will know the ins and outs of your business. Clearly, there are better options than hiring an in-house IT support worker.
Option #2: Send Employees to a Workshop or a Seminar
You may have employees on your team who are technologically proficient yet are unfamiliar with the issues your company faces. Here, it might seem reasonable to educate these workers and get them up to speed on the specific IT needs of your business. And sure enough, workshops and seminars exist to train employees in IT project management. As such, you may be tempted to send an employee off to attend one of these courses.
There are a few issues with relying on workshops to educate your employees. For one thing, you shouldn’t expect a short-term seminar to cover everything there is to know about maintaining a company’s IT services. There’s simply no guarantee that your employees will receive the proper tools to meet your company’s very specific needs. Also, these courses tend to be expensive, costing upwards of thousands of dollars for just a few days of class. That’s a lot of money for a business to cover when there’s no promise of a positive result.
Option #3: Have Your Employees Train Themselves
Instead of sending your employees off to learn about IT services management, you could instead task them with teaching themselves. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to train yourself to do some IT task. So, why not leave your employees to train themselves over the course of a few days?
There are many resources out there for learning specific aspects of IT services management, but practically none are comprehensive. It’s sometimes impossible to know where to start when looking for an overall knowledge base , and as employees look for resources to train themselves in the IT needs of your company, that’s time they could be spending on making the company more money. It’s important to mention that the information your employees find online might not be vetted, leading to incorrect procedures, malfunctions, and vulnerabilities.
Option #4: Receive Training from a Professional, Outsourced IT Team
Rather than spending the money for a full-time professional or a “mile wide, inch deep” workshop for your employees, you could instead rely on a professional team of IT experts to train your team, tailored exactly to the needs of your business. An outsourced IT training team can work with you and your business to find the knowledge gaps that need to be filled and then pass along the training to your employees.
There are a few other benefits besides the specific training an outsourced IT team can provide. Because they’ll be working closely with your employees, the team will be able to provide immediate, responsive advice whenever questions arise during the training process. This is something that doesn’t really happen in larger workshop-based training sessions or in self-study. Also, because an outsourced IT team will become accustomed to your business’ IT needs, they’ll be able to follow up with you if there are any issues or your employees need additional training in the future.
What to Expect When Your Business Is Trained by Professionals
Your employees stand a lot to gain when they’re trained by professionals. Not only will they be able to handle your company’s IT tasks, but more importantly, they’ll be less prone to making errors. Because you can count on a professional IT team to train your group correctly, your employees will be less likely to use the services in a way that may cause damage or leave your infrastructure open to vulnerabilities.
When your employees receive quality training, they’ll feel more confident when using your company’s hardware and application solutions, making them more likely to use it correctly. With no need to second-guess their actions, they won’t spin their wheels or procrastinate on their work. Plus, fewer errors equals less downtime and greater efficiency for your business.
Some cases call for IT training more than others. When you’re just starting a business and you need your employees properly trained in your IT infrastructure, getting them started with a solid foundation can get your business launched more quickly and prevent issues from delaying deadlines. Or, when your team has decided to make upgrades to the technology you use, you want to be sure that your employees have a comfort level with this new technology. Whatever the case, it’s always a plus to have employees be confident in the work they’re doing, and this can be made possible with training from an outsourced IT team.