When assembling a dedicated IT department, there are a number of important factors that businesses need to consider if they are going to enjoy a successful digital strategy. Poor implementation might lead to the organisation suffering losses whilst a strong network of staff, software and hardware could provide a range of benefits.
It’s vital that a business has a comprehensive plan for its IT department that matches its industry, as well as the firm’s specific short-term and long-term requirements. In this article, we look at the main tips and considerations for any enterprise wishing to set up its own IT department.
1. Take the Company’s Size Into Account
Scale is at the heart of any successful IT strategy and it’s important that your organisation is able to accommodate its current size, including the firm’s resources and general capabilities. Small businesses with 25 employees or fewer might have loosely-defined roles where team members with technical expertise handle basic IT issues. Medium-sized companies are similar but might have a dedicated internal team instead, albeit only small. Both usually outsource cybersecurity, accounting and more to a Managed Service Provider.
Larger organisations with over 75 employees have the capabilities and budget for a dedicated IT department – this may be necessary to deal with the firm’s increased dependence on IT as it grows. If the company is able to afford a larger dedicated team, this also helps them prepare for future developments at the organisation.
Even with this ability, there might still be some functions that are more efficient for a third party to manage, such as disaster recovery or cloud computing. Executives and team leaders should work to make sure their IT team can easily grow alongside their company’s long-term success.
2. Define the Teams
Every business will approach the idea of an IT team or department in their own way, typically in accordance with their specific requirements. There are four main types of team that your organisation could implement, although these aren’t necessarily permanent fixtures in every workplace with a dedicated IT department:
Operations: An operations team focuses on maintaining the company infrastructure, providing constant monitoring of the internal server.
Support: Support teams are also usually permanent, caring for the systems, repairing problems when they emerge and running tests as necessary to make sure the network is able to handle its current load.
Process: Process teams work to improve the firm’s current digital strategy by updating and streamlining their individual processes – they look for ways to free up the network’s current use and prevent issues from emerging.
Project: Project teams are almost always temporary and created to solve a specific issue or enact a change on the system. This team typically disbands after a project or moves onto another one.
No matter how you decide to structure the department, splitting it into well-defined teams can ensure that everyone understands their role and is able to use their skills in the most efficient way.
3. Consider a Managed Service Provider
Organisations of any size can benefit from a Managed Service Provider (MSP), who can handle a wide range of their usual IT responsibilities. The exact specifics vary depending upon the services the company aims to outsource; this could include data backups, accessible support and network security.
An external solution can help the company avoid downtime and the many destructive effects of system failures, allowing their staff to focus on other matters. MSPs help your business grow at a manageable rate and serve as a helpful partner, one that slowly comes to understand exactly how your firm works.
A Managed Service Provider is often more affordable than an internal equivalent, resulting in more predictable expenses in the form of a centralised, regular payment. For example, many MSPs include the costs of repairs in their services, which could otherwise cost a significantly higher amount. This is an especially useful saving for small firms.
MSPs offer an unparalleled level of flexibility, ensuring that you can always customise their solution to match your business. Many companies also enjoy the ease with which they can quickly set up an MSP and their infrastructure.
4. Prioritise Strong General Business Practices
The company’s conduct is just as important as its skills and outsourcing; the IT department may only succeed if its staff are committed and follow specific principles. For example, it requires a strong leader who understands the firm’s current system and how their internal digital strategies could improve.
The company must appoint a director or manager with experience and key leadership qualities. It’s also essential that the organisation can stay flexible in response to change. The IT department might even need to grow and take on new employees in order to keep up with the company.
On top of this, the department should stay up-to-date with the latest innovations which are present across the industry. This helps them identify ways to optimise their company and otherwise stay competitive – such as by procuring new technologies and software that can facilitate their usual processes.
While the department could also investigate the latest security threats, their Managed Service Provider (if applicable) typically takes care of this. Organisations must prioritise strong IT services, either internally or with the help of third-party companies; the current digital age practically requires this for a business to stay successful over time.
Knowing how to structure your company’s IT department allows you to make sure it’s able to handle the traffic and issues it may encounter on a regular basis. Perhaps the most important tip is understanding when to make use of cost-effective external solutions, such as a Managed Service Provider.
Your IT department and its various teams should account for the company’s unique industry and practices as part of its overall strategy, allowing it to perfectly complement the organisation’s internal structure. An external provider can help you find a setup that’s able to match your company’s specific requirements in this regard.
Why choose Eventura as your Managed IT Service Provider?
Eventura has been providing managed IT services to countless customers for 20 years. Our talented team of people can help you identify all your businesses IT needs and engineer bespoke IT solutions that have real-world benefits to your business.
If you would like to speak to one of our experts, you can request a free call back here.