With how much businesses rely on technology these days, having a great IT department is essential. That's why 44% of companies plan to accelerate their digital transformations in the coming years.
The question is, how can you make use of IT to make your business run? Unfortunately, that's easier said than done.
If you run an IT department, you need to do everything you can to make it more efficient. Below are seven things you can do to make your IT services department run great.
1. Hire Specialists
Even if an IT employee is great at their job, that doesn't mean they know everything in the IT world. Technology is constantly changing, and there is too much information for one person to be an expert at everything.
That's why having IT specialists is essential. Here are a few roles that you can hire specialists for:
Backup and recovery
If you don't have the budget for individual employees, it makes more sense to contract out the work. You can keep a support team on-site but still outsource more specialized roles.
2. Open Lines of Communication
Your IT department can't operate on its own. While they might be great at working with technology, they might not understand what your business goals are.
That's why being on the same page with your IT department is essential. Set a regular time to meet with your IT leaders. Use this time to discuss your goals and how your IT team can help get you there.
Here are a few key things to consider:
Future tech needs
Custom software projects
These needs will change based on your industry. An excellent way to better handle what you'll need is to talk with other business leaders in your industry. Learning how they work together with their IT departments is a great way to get a handle on yours.
3. Take Advantage of the Cloud
IT infrastructure doesn't have to be complex anymore. You used to need several servers to handle your data storage and application hosting. Today, you can use the cloud.
The cloud provides many of the same software programs that you're used to. However, instead of buying a program with a one-time fee, you pay for your program monthly. If you don't want a complex IT setup, this is a great choice.
However, you have to weigh the pros and cons of not being in control of your data. You have to trust that your software providers do cybersecurity correctly. If you store sensitive information, this might be a chance that you can't take.
4. Provide Training Opportunities
The world of technology is changing all the time. Even if you have a great team that can handle their jobs, they might not have the time or energy to keep up with changing trends independently. They should be able to enjoy their free time on their own terms.
That's why you need to provide on-the-job training opportunities for your IT team. From your support specialists to your CTO, give every person in your IT department a chance to learn something new.
The easiest way to do this is with online courses. Sign up for a membership on IT training websites. Doing this is a great and inexpensive way to provide training for your team.
Conferences are also an excellent way for people to learn new things. It gives people a chance to connect with other IT professionals and gives your team first-hand experience with new IT tools.
5. Automate Everything
The amount of simple tasks your IT employees handle is a lot. There is a lot of time they can free up if you permit them to automate much of those tasks away.
Once you give your team the go-ahead to learn task automation, their time is freed up to work on more critical IT tasks. Whether it's keeping your computers updated, improving your network infrastructure, or testing your network for security problems, your team will get more done with automation.
The good thing about this is that once your IT team learns how to automate tasks, they can use that knowledge to benefit the rest of your business. Ask your regular employees what simple tasks they repeatedly do. The chances are good that your IT team can automate those tasks.
6. Use Monitoring Service
You can't only rely on the break-fix model when running your information technology department. When things go offline, that means people can't do their jobs. You need a way to monitor for issues so you can get them resolved quickly.
Luckily, monitoring software can help you handle this task. You can install a monitoring program on all your IT equipment and have it send logs to a central application server. These logs will keep track of potential issues that your equipment might face.
Doing this allows you to get a head start when a problem comes up. Ideally, your IT team can fix these issues before anybody in your company notices that there's a problem.
7. Outsource Your Support
No matter how great you are at predicting your needs, there will still be times where your business needs change drastically. You need to be prepared for when this happens.
The problem is that it's challenging to hire great employees to fill your needs when your needs change fast. If you pick the wrong person to hire, you'll waste both time and money.
That's where outsourcing IT support helps. Working with an IT staffing agency will give you access to IT support on-demand. They've already done the work to find great talent, so all you need to do is give an agency a call and tell them what you need.
Now You Have What You Need to Make Your IT Department Great
It takes a lot of work to run an efficient IT department. However, there are a few things you can do to keep things running smoothly. Use the advice above to keep your IT department running great.
Now that you have your tech sorted, you need to learn the other things you can do to help when running a business. Check out the latest blog posts for our best advice.