You know that your business relies on your IT to function.
All your data and your files are stored on your network, whether that’s in the Cloud or a local infrastructure. You and your team get hundreds of emails per day – mostly spam admittedly, but it is still one of your key communication tools. Your phones, both mobile and landline, are critical tools as well.
With all of this IT in place within your business, you need someone to call either when it isn’t working or, ideally, in place and working to keep it all running smoothly. You know your business slows dramatically when your IT isn’t working. The question is: what are your options?
You know quite a bit about IT and you’ve never really had any problems.
If this is you, you’ve been lucky but if you do have a problem, there is little chance of it being fixed quickly because you’ve first got to find someone you trust and then get them to fix it.
Ad-hoc IT support
Micro-businesses will often work with an IT support company on an ad-hoc basis, simply paying for support when something breaks. Whilst a potentially good way to save some money when everything is running smoothly, the bills can mount up when something goes wrong.
The issue will be resolved faster than if you use the above option, but not a lot.
Proactive IT Support
Having an IT support company in place that is looking at your network to minimise the IT issues you face as a business does mean you are paying a monthly retainer.
However, it also means you should have very few issues. Any company claiming you won’t have any is stretching the truth, but you can be confident that your IT issues will be dealt with quickly.
Internal IT Manager
When should you employ an IT Manager? The easiest calculation to base this on is when your IT support bills (not including hardware, software or internet connection fees) add up to more than the cost of an IT Manager. So lets look at this.
- Salary: £45,000
- Employers costs: £5,500 approx, including pension contributions
- Training: £2-3,000 per annum
- Tech: £2,000 per annum
- Office space: £6500 (although you are likely to be paying this anyway) and assuming they have 100 sq.ft of space
A total of around £55,000, even without the floor space costs, buys you a full-time IT Manager for your business.
They get at least 4 week’s holiday and they will have a few days a year off sick. This means for at least seven weeks (including time training) of the year, you have no IT cover.
Sod’s Law says your network will fail when?
So how do you cover this?
There are two options: another IT person or a support company.
An IT Manager, however good, is just one person. They will have a certain set of skills that are available to you.
They will be, or become, an expert in the specific systems you are using and so can quickly resolve issues with your case management, your CRM, your AutoCAD or other systems.
They may not, however, have the time and knowledge to be able to advise on the more strategic aspects of your IT needs – ensuring your IT meets the needs of the business going forward.
So when do you employ an IT Manager?
When your IT support costs are higher than the cost of one IT Manager, we recommend you employ a 2nd line IT Manager who can resolve the day to day issues around your office.
You then use an IT support company to support that person and to provide the strategic support you need.
When the costs of both of these clear £1050,000 a year, you have the resources to recruit an IT Director with the knowledge you need and an IT Manager to do the 1st and 2nd line support work.
These are our recommendations and we hope you find them useful. If you’d like more information, please get in touch.