For the last post in my three part series on what I wish every business owner knew about IT, I am going to talk about human resources, specifically, the IT people issues.
IT is too big for just one person to understand and support
I’ve been in IT for 30 years. Many times I wore all the IT hats – hardware and software expert, database designer, printer repair person, cable installer, network engineer and phone system admin. The world of technology has grown exponentially in the past 2 decades, in fact, technology is the fastest changing industry. It has evolved into so many areas of specialization that one person cannot absorb it all. I would be lost without my team. Having experts in different areas of IT provides the best solutions. Don’t let your IT person be an island! If he/she is, it may be a good idea to ask why because your company is not benefitting from it. Hiring an outside IT provider that will team up with your internal IT can help streamline your company functions and give your IT person the benefit of experts in different areas of IT.
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Hire an expert, not the person with a “knack” for IT
IT is complicated, right? Its impossible for one person to know it all, even if they spend their entire life working in it. So why would you hire someone who has a “knack” for it but no real-world experience or credentials, or who has been given the responsibility on top of their already full-time job? You are better off outsourcing IT support to a qualified IT provider and let your employee with a “knack” for IT do their fulltime job. A quality IT person will solve problems faster and provide quality recommendations when it comes time to upgrade or expand.
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Good IT hires are hard to find
There is incredible demand for IT people right now. On the other hand, colleges and universities are turning out IT graduates at an incredible rate. I find that a lot of people go to school for IT because they want to make a lot of money but at the same time, a lot of them don’t have the right mindset for IT. I studied computer science in college because I found computers to be easy. There are a lot of people who are good at taking exams but poor at problem solving in the IT field, and colleges are cranking out people like this at an alarming rate. It takes us 2-3 months of reviewing resumes and doing interviews before we hire someone. Good grades in school or a bunch of certifications are simply not enough.
Employee onboarding/offboarding procedures and computer use policies are important
Its not unusual for a disgruntled ex-employee to get back into their former employer’s computer systems to wreak havoc or for employees to have improper access to sensitive data, such as payroll. Procedures dictate all the to-do steps of a new hire and, more importantly, all the to-do steps on a new fire. Policies dictate what employees can or cannot do with company equipment plus they dictate what to do in certain situations. A computer use policy provides the company’s expectations on how employees use and take care of company computers. Its important the company computers are only used for company business by company employees, especially during work-from-home. Don’t forget to involve your internal IT/IT provider in these types of policies and procedures. They will also want to be the first to know when an employee is let go or resigns.