How to Tell If Your Business Needs a Dedicated IT Department
Does your business need a dedicated IT department? We explain the telltale signs the answer is yes with tips on how to get started.
Managing the growth of your business can be challenging. It can be tough to decide when to bring on new employees. It can be even tougher to decide when you need to expand to a dedicated IT department.
Most companies don’t have a dedicated IT department. It’s not that it wouldn’t help their business. It’s just that having a dedicated IT department in-house requires a lot of resources.
But, what could you and your team do if you had a dedicated IT department? IT is becoming more important by the day. Data is quickly becoming a business’s most important asset.
Sure, it may cost some money to set up a dedicated IT department. And, there’s a chance your business may not be ready for it. But, if you take the time to set it up properly, an IT department could be just the thing you need to maximize your team’s potential.
Today, we’re going to show you exactly why you need to consider creating a dedicated IT department. We’ll talk about what it is and show you some signs that you’re ready to bring IT staff on board.
So, read on and discover what the right IT solutions can do for you and your business.
What Is a Dedicated IT Department?
A dedicated IT department is a way for small businesses to leverage the power of having their own IT department in-house without having their own IT department in-house. Confusing? Not really.
As we mentioned earlier, data and data management are becoming more important by the day. Small businesses need to be able to keep up. But, a full-blown IT department could cost enough to bankrupt small to midsize businesses.
That’s where a dedicated IT department comes in. Small businesses can receive the same tech support as a major corporation for a fraction of the cost. The result is that businesses can focus on growing and scaling without worrying if their system will support their efforts or not.
A dedicated IT department can help you achieve this by providing their IT services on a subscription basis. You don’t have to bring them in-house. They don’t work as part of your team.
But, when you hire them, they become part of the team and are there to help guide you through every IT issue.
You Can’t Do It Alone
It’s easy for entrepreneurs to think they can handle everything themselves. Most of them feel that no one does things as well as they can. And, while that may be true, someone can do it well enough.
You may think because you’ve been around modern technology and you’re pretty handy with a computer, you’re ready to handle your company’s IT needs. While we support your confidence level, we encourage you to think about leaving it to the professionals.
You’re supposed to be focused on the highest and best use of your time. For an entrepreneur, that’s growing your business. A dedicated IT staff allows you to do that without breaking the bank.
The Cost of IT
If you don’t work with a dedicated IT department, what’s the alternative? Well, the alternative would be hiring an in-house IT department. Let’s take a look at what that costs.
According to payscale.com, the average salary for an IT support specialist is $50,732. You’ll also need to pay to train them, bring on HR staff, and pay for other administrative duties. Experts say that may run you about another $65,000.
But, those are the numbers for one person. You’re going to need an IT team. You may need at least one or two more support specialists. And, you’ll need to put an IT manager in place to run the show.
By the time you’re all said and done, having a proper IT department in-house can cost you well into six figures in expenses. Leading companies in the field say that running an IT department properly can cost a company anywhere between $240,000 and $400,000.
Small businesses can still receive the same level of support for a fraction of the cost by hiring a dedicated IT service.
Signs You Need a Dedicated IT Department
You might be wondering, “does my business need an IT department?” Although it’s the better option for small businesses, hiring a dedicated IT department or service still costs money. And, when your business is small, budgeting is very important.
That’s why you need to make sure your company is ready to outsource IT services. Here are the top signs that you need to hand off your IT responsibilities to the pros.
1. There’s Been a Cyberattack
If you and your team have recently been through a cyberattack, you may want to consider bringing on some outsourced IT support. Most businesses experience a cyberattack at some point. So much of our business is done on the cloud, that it’s only a matter of time.
A large portion of hacking victims are small businesses. Each time one of these attacks are successful, it can cost your team a lot of money. It can cost you in lawsuits, lost revenue, and damage to your reputation.
Some businesses are lucky enough to go through a cyberattack and come out the other side with minimal damage. Either way, after a cyberattack it makes sense to consider hiring a dedicated IT service.
They can offer you expertise that you don’t have access to in-house. They can also help you to see things from a perspective you didn’t have before. A new set of eyes on a problem never hurts.
2. Your Team’s Going Through Burnout
If you’re fortunate enough to have a small IT team on board already, you want to keep them as sharp as possible. Relying on them for every single IT task, big and small, is a surefire way to overburden them. The result is your IT staff being tired, overworked, and it leaves them with low employee morale.
When employees are in that sort of condition, that’s when important things start to slip through the cracks. Bringing on a dedicated IT department will relieve your team of some of their burden.
They are free to focus on more hands-on IT tasks like software updates and minor fixes. Then, they can leave the tasks that require more advanced IT skills to your dedicated team of professionals.
Less stress, less pressure, and fewer headaches mean better performance all around.
3. Customer Service Problems
For your business to thrive, you need to have a robust online presence. As a result, problems are going to pop up often. If you’re spending all of your time putting out “IT fires”, when are you going to have time to serve your customers?
Attracting new customers, caring for their needs, and caring for the customers you have are the most important functions of your business. Part of the new era of business is that customers want you to cater to them. Experts in sales and customer service say customers want you to cater to their individual needs now more than ever.
They want an individualized experience from your business. And, they want it faster than ever before. If your customers have a bad experience, they’ll end up going elsewhere.
Even worse, your customers may take to social media to tell everyone what a bad experience they had. That’s the last thing you want for your business.
Putting IT in the hands of a dedicated IT department will allow you to focus on the people that got you here: your customers.
4. Wasting Time and Money
Cybercriminals are getting smarter by the day. It’s getting to the point where it’s becoming hard for businesses to keep up. If cybersecurity risks are starting to occupy most of your time, thoughts, and money, it may be time to outsource your IT.
Hiring a dedicated IT service allows you to sleep better and focus more time on what’s important. It also allows you to budget more efficiently.
It’s hard to budget for IT services if you don’t know what that cost is going to be every month. And, if you’re running around trying to manage your IT department yourself, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Costs will fluctuate as you do whatever it takes to keep your cybersecurity afloat.
With dedicated IT services, you can keep better track of your expenses. You can count on that bill being the same month in and month out. This allows you to focus your time and energy to budget for more important aspects of the business like marketing and customer service.
5. You Handle Sensitive Data
If you’re in an industry where you handle sensitive data you can’t afford to make a mistake. Certain industries like healthcare and government work are governed by data compliance laws. The most popular of these is in the healthcare space.
Everyone has heard of HIPAA laws. These laws govern the way that healthcare workers manage patient data. Patients’ personally identifiable data needs to be protected at all costs.
If healthcare workers violate these laws, even by accident, they can be subject to significant fines and legal penalties. If the industry you work in has similar laws in place, you may want to consider farming out your IT and cybersecurity.
An IT company that provides dedicated IT services will be equipped with resources you don’t have access to. They’ll have the latest and greatest equipment and cybersecurity on hand to make sure your data stays protected at all times. They also have the financial resources to hire the best and brightest in the field.
The result is state-of-the-art equipment and innovative solutions at your disposal.
6. Your Team Meetings Take Forever
Meetings have their purpose. But, most of the time, meetings are a huge time suck. And, if you’re in a meeting where nothing is getting accomplished, it can drain employee energy and morale.
A lot of time is wasted getting the meeting up and running in the first place. You or your staff need to get the Wi-Fi to work. Then, you need to fire up GoToMeeting or Zoom.
When the meeting finally starts, there are still issues getting team members to show up on-screen or hearing others’ input without the audio breaking up. Any of these issues could take a 15-minute meeting and easily make it last an hour.
This might seem like an insignificant reason for IT services, but minutes wasted over time can add up. A dedicated IT department can help you troubleshoot these issues so they no longer slow your team down.
7. You Don’t Have A Backup Plan
Attacks on your system are inevitable. That’s why cybersecurity is such an important part of what dedicated IT services can do for you. But, in addition to cybersecurity, you also need to protect your system on the backend.
If a hacking attempt gets through your front-end security measures, you and your team need to have a backup and recovery plan in place. You’ll also need a backup plan to protect you from any server or hard drive crashes.
It can be overwhelming to decide what needs to be backed up. Especially when you’re dealing with a whole company’s worth of files.
That’s one of the benefits of a dedicated IT department. The IT professionals you’re working with can show you exactly what you need to backup. They can also advise you on which type of backup to choose.
Depending on your business, it may make more sense for you to backup your data on-premises. Other businesses may benefit from a cloud or hybrid solution. It’s the job of your dedicated IT team to know what’s best for your business.
Once they show you what to back up, and how to back it up, they can use this knowledge to help you create an effective disaster recovery system.
Dedicated IT Delivers
If your small business is experiencing any of the problems above, you owe it to yourself to check out a dedicated IT department. Our team at Be Structured can provide you with whatever IT services your team may need.
Contact us today to see how to get started. If you have any other IT questions, we’d be happy to help you with those as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article and we look forward to helping you on your small business journey.