By Ken Presti, Contributing Columnist
It starts with a nagging suspicion that things aren’t in synch, and kind of grows from there. Symptoms include long response times, an inability to scale, and sometimes just an all-out failure to keep things working. At one time or another, every company faces the question of whether they have outgrown their IT guy.
The causes can be many, but typically fall into one of two buckets. The most obvious one is the inability of said IT guy to keep up with the changes of the industry and grow with the job. In these situations, the answer may be as simple as getting some additional training, as opposed to looking for someone new. But very often, it’s far more complicated than that. In some ways, Moore’s Law has now been applied to human resources. Managers are expected to get more from the people they’ve got, and next quarter they are expected to get more still. And if you think that’s bad, just wait til the quarter after that. So very often, it is not a lack of ability or a lack of willingness on the part of the employee, it is simply a matter of trying to get too much done with too few bodies.
When faced with such difficulties with your IT support, there are a couple of different ways you can go. The least advisable option is to keep bumping along with the situation you’ve got, due to the budget requirements at hand. Unfortunately, a lot of companies go this route, and they do so at substantial risk. The best choice, of course, is heavily dependent upon how much wiggle room there might be for that line item. For example, you may be able to bring someone onto the team, either as a full-time employee, a part-time employee, or a contractor of some type. In many cases, you may find channel partners in your area who are ready, willing, and able to either meet your IT needs, or at least add additional resources to the equation without increasing your headcount.
But the important part is that management recognizes the critical role that IT plays in the organization, and is willing to provide the extra support, and least as a defensive maneuver to help protect the company’s ability to deliver on business-level objectives. In this situation, it may be necessary to make some pretty difficult choices. But assuming that IT is mission-critical to the company, making such a choice is critical to the bottom line.
The good thing about working with a channel partner is that you can usually find some level of supplementary service that suit’s your company’s budget, whatever that might be. And sometimes the effects of just a little bit of help can far exceed the incremental cost.
Thus, with a little bit of planning, and a little bit of flexibility, you can bring a higher degree of IT efficiency, and oftentimes accomplish that goal while leaving your primary team intact.
Ken Presti has extensive experience in channel program analysis and development. He is the founder of Presti Research. His company focuses on channel and go-to-market programs and strategies in order to help our clients build successful and profitable partnerships with compatible companies.