Big companies almost always have an information technology department. The IT team not only helps the organization with troubleshooting errors and issues but also provides long-term planning and overall business support and strategic planning.
If you’re a small business owner, though, chances are you do not have an IT department. So how do you manage your information technology to keep your business running smoothly? Do you need an IT department for your small business? And when do you hire someone to take on the IT functions? Before you hire an IT manager, it’s important to understand the role of an IT department, the financial investment in hiring, and when to scale up the IT team as your business grows.
Role of the IT Department
The IT department is typically known as the team that “fixes things.” When a computer crashes, the printer has an error, or someone forgets their password, they call the IT guys. In reality, though, an IT department does much more than troubleshooting (although they do that, too).
The IT department is a critical component in overall business success. The team has three areas of concern – governance of a company’s technological systems, maintenance of IT infrastructure, and monitoring and improving the functionality of all systems.
Governance of Technological Systems
IT governance is the ‘big picture’ of how IT integrates into the overall business. It examines all the ways IT can provide a return-on-investment for a business owner and its stakeholders. For example, if a business goal is to increase customer service response times, the choice of software to meet that goal would fall under IT governance. IT governance ensures businesses have appropriate decision-making processes and controls in place so that the interests of all stakeholders are balanced.
IT governance is essentially a set of policies and procedures designed to align IT functions with overall business strategy and success. Having a formal set of standards in place helps to maximize value, set IT strategy, reduce risk, and measure performance.
Maintenance of IT Infrastructure
Most businesses understand this function of an IT department – maintaining the IT infrastructure. This includes many of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ tasks such as:
- Software and hardware maintenance for physical and virtual environments
- Network administration
- Data and storage upkeep including cloud systems
- Management of virtual and remote assets
- Implementation and maintenance of wireless and wired access
- Email management
- Cybersecurity programming
Monitoring and Improving System Functionality
IT departments just don’t “set it and forget it” when it comes to IT infrastructure. The IT department continually monitors and improves functionality to minimize loss and maximize return. Using tools, employee feedback, and documentation, the IT department refines and improves the current systems.
Financial Investment to Start an IT Department
Small businesses can hire an in-house IT professional if they have the financial stability and resources to grow their staff. The financial investment varies widely depending on the type of IT professional needed to support the business. According to Indeed.com, the average salaries of the most common IT professionals are:
- Computer Support Technician: $33,000
- Computer Support Specialist: $34,000
- IT Support Specialist: $41,500
- IT Technician: $74,400
- Computer Systems Analyst: $76,000
- Systems Administrator: $79,000
- IT Manager: $85,000
- Director of Information Technology: $120,000
The cost of hiring an IT professional extends beyond the salary. According to the Society of Human Resources Management, the average cost of hiring a new employee can exceed $4,000.
Scaling IT as Your Business Grows
For any business, having the right people in place can make all the difference in the success of the organization. How do you know when it’s the right time to add an IT team? What works for some businesses may not work for others, so it’s important to first assess your situation to determine when – and if – you should hire. If you own a small business, ask yourself:
- Does someone at my organization take on IT tasks in addition to their regular workload?
- Do I need to support a remote work environment?
- Am I at risk for a cyber threat? Do I have sensitive information that could be hacked?
- Do I have applications or computer programs that require support? Is this managed by a vendor?
- Does my business model rely primarily on e-commerce?
If you answered yes to these questions, you should consider adding IT support to your small business. But what if you cannot afford to add a full-time team member to your staff? The good news is you can get the IT support you need through Managed IT Services.
Managed IT Services for Small Businesses
Many small business owners are operating on tight budgets and cannot financially support an in-house IT team. Managed IT Services is a way to get the IT support you need that works with your budget and goals.
Managed IT Services allows business owners to delegate their ongoing information technology processes to a third-party company like Everound that specializes in the IT industry. For a fraction of the cost of hiring an IT professional, Managed IT Services improves overall organizational efficiency and productivity while also reducing operating expenses.
As a Managed IT Services provider, Everound offers IT support including:
- Help Desk
- Network and Server Administration
- Network Monitoring
- Hardware and Software Installation and Configuration
- Computer Patching and Software Updates
- Backup and Disaster Recovery
- Software Customization
- After Hours Support
If you own a small business and are ready to add IT support in a cost-efficient way, reach out today to discuss how we can help. We can work with your budget to support you and your IT needs. Let us focus on your IT so you can focus on your business.