IT Stagnation is Normal (But Your Business Can Overcome It)
Do you ever feel like getting momentum behind a new IT project is like steering a massive ship? Everybody is on board, but no matter how hard you turn the wheel, little progress happens?
If your business was a lot smaller when you started, you probably remember how easy it was to change course. Back then, your business was like a raft in shallow water—you could get out in your wading boots and push the ship by hand if you needed to.
I’ve always liked that analogy, and it’s something that will resonate with business owners as their company gets larger and more complicated.
Why Are Big Changes so Tough?
While this applies to most growing businesses, I’m going to focus on your IT (that’s my specialty, after all).
Let’s say you pass some goals over to your IT department to meet a certain level of compliance, or research and deploy a new system, or upgrade the hardware running one of your essential applications. Regardless of the task, you do all of the right things—you secure the budget they need, you give them an avenue for requesting anything else they might need, you may even incentivize them with bonuses or raises.
A few months later, the project barely has any traction.
This Isn’t Just a “You” Problem
As a business owner myself, this is giving me flashbacks to plenty of similar situations, both regarding IT and non-IT-related initiatives—it’s a common thing and I think it’s safe to say that most C-levels and managers have experienced this to some degree.
So why are IT initiatives so hard? Why does it feel like an in-house IT department stagnates with new projects?
Problem #1 - The Everyday Tasks Get in the Way
Depending on how busy your IT department is, how many end users and endpoints they are supporting, and how efficient they are at maintaining your IT infrastructure, it’s really easy for the daily minutia to get in the way of bigger projects.
It’s not a very good excuse, but it’s understandable that IT will handle all of the “squeaky wheels” before they buckle down and focus on something new. Your IT staff’s day can be a little hard to predict—your other users will add to their workload, as well as unexpected problems with updates and patches, hardware and software issues, and other things like that.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to enforce a block of time every day to work on initial projects where support tickets aren’t dealt with. Some technicians will establish that on their own, which is always nice, but you might also find that there just isn’t enough time in the day to allocate to new initiatives without taking on new IT staff.
Problem #2 - A Lack of Experience or Training
Full disclaimer—we’re not saying that your internal IT staff aren’t great at their job. It takes a lot of patience, knowledge, and skill to support a business network properly. That said, if that’s all they’ve been doing for the last couple years, they are probably not working with newer technologies or workflows very often.
If you play the piano every day, it doesn’t make you good at the violin.
That’s okay, when you need someone to play the piano (or provide support for something on your network) we know just who to call. As soon as something new crops up though, that’s a whole new process.
Technology changes fast, and if your techs haven’t been actively exploring and experimenting with new hardware and software, they might not have the confidence to tackle some initiatives. For example, they might know the ins and outs of your servers and the legacy software that runs your business, but they aren’t sure how to configure a cloud-hosted solution to support that software.
Data migrations, even straightforward ones, are arduous, complex processes. Newer hardware and software solutions are far more complex, and it can take a lot of work for your staff to grasp the best way to implement them, let alone secure and manage them.
Again, it’s not your IT staff’s fault. If they’ve been working for you for the last few years, their focus has hopefully been on improving their day-to-day performance. Throwing something new at them will set them back quite a bit.
You could allocate time and resources towards training, but that might lead back to the first problem we mentioned: time.
It Helps to Bring in an Outside IT Professional
Your first thought might be, “I don’t want to replace my current IT staff.”
We wouldn’t want that either. You have them for a reason, and depending on your size and the complexity of your network, you probably still need them for the everyday stuff.
For the overly complex projects that your internal IT staff isn’t capable of diving into, however, relying on outside IT support professionals can do a lot to supplement your team without hiring an additional IT person with some specialized focus that would only be used during the course of your current project.
If you need to cater your company picnic, you probably aren’t going to hire a caterer full time, right?
At Digital Sky Solutions, we’re especially good at dealing with complex problems and those really challenging projects that most in-house IT departments don’t want to touch. We can provide the support and day-to-day maintenance and management too, but our skills really shine when something complicated is tossed at us.
Best of all, when we work with an in-house IT department to get a project done, we leave their IT staff with the knowledge to continue to support the new technology. We want to elevate your internal IT people, not replace them.
Bring Your IT Challenges to Digital Sky Solutions
Do you have an initiative or project that you need help completing? We’d love to hear about it. Give us a call at (205) 483-5623 to discuss it with us, and we’ll map out how we can help you get it done on time and within budget.