IT for Growing Businesses
Here at ECHO we have extensive experience with companies that are undergoing all ranges of growth. From rapid expansion, to a bit more controlled scaling, we have seen it. With this in mind, we have noticed a few common phrases said around these offices that we would like to share here, as well some general recommendations for companies who are saying similar things.
What was said: “IT budget? Like the cost of the laptops?”
Why it was said: There is no IT budget and no business ownership of IT. IT is assumed to be all hardware based and seen as a necessary cost, that’s it.
How to fix: Two parts:
- Business ownership of IT – we strongly suggest forming an IT steering committee that reaches all four corners of your organization. The primary purpose of the IT Steering Committee is to ensure IT alignment with business goals and objectives.
- IT Budget – Depending on maturity of an organization and the growth rate IT Budget should consume 3-6% of your overall budget. 3% for stable businesses, 6% for growing businesses or businesses with heavy regulatory and compliance requirements. If you are heading towards an IPO, compliance requirements will require increased investment in IT.
What was said: “Just go talk to the IT guy.”
Why it was said: On-site is still the dominant mode of IT support. Companies will often have one “IT guy” who everyone else thinks can just handle every technological issue. To be clear, this is not a knock against IT people. That’s our tribe, we stand with them. We just know how difficult managing a whole company’s worth of IT problems can be. Often these individuals are so busy putting out fires, they do not even have time to be doing preventative maintenance or future planning.
How to fix: Similar to the previous fix, understand what IT is for your company and what a company of your size requires and will require in 6 months to a year. On-site IT support also is not the only option. With everything moving to the cloud, a good chunk of your IT support can move to the cloud as well.
What was said: “You don’t have a Mac?”
Why it was said: Apple products are everywhere. Whether it is the new iPhone or this year’s MacBook Pro, Apple has a significant hold in the personal devices space. This seems to become even more pronounced in the realm of companies that are experiencing significant growth.
How to fix: This one is not a major problem, but can lead to unnecessary spending if left unchecked. Often times employees want the latest version the moment it is available, but the cost of upgrading is not justified without a corresponding increase in productivity. Most employees need a web browser, two monitors and a pair of headphones. Theoretically, Chrome Book at 1/5 of a Mac price, would be more than sufficient for almost anyone in an organization.
What was said: “The Wi-Fi is down again.”
Why it was said: Small blips of service can cause big disruptions to a business if everyone is dependent on the wireless. Networks that are quickly assembled to just get people online ASAP can often be done poorly leading to inconsistent service down the line, especially if more and more people are using it.
How to fix: Setting up corporate IT Wireless is not as simple as setting it up at your home, anymore. While not a rocket science either, it requires a bit of analysis, design, planning, and skillful implementation. With constant cyber-security threats your Wi-Fi (and your entire network) needs to be professionally designed, implemented, monitored and supported. Your wireless issues can, and should, be virtually nonexistent and this will achieve that.
What was said: “Hey IT guy can I get a login to this app real quick?”
Why it was said: A new employee has been on boarded incompletely and needs access to one of your 20 applications. Or a current employee has not been granted access to a new application that your company has been using.
How to fix: On-boarding and off-boarding are the most expensive IT items for growing organizations, or organizations with high turnover. Hardware and setup costs are high, but even higher is lost productivity of new employees, their managers and HR. Because this process requires coordination between different teams within an organization it is not very efficient process. Luckily there is a lot of room for improvement and many solutions, such as Okta, can streamline this process while reducing costs and improving security.
If you have overheard, or maybe even said, some of these in your office then don’t hesitate to reach out to ECHO here and we would be happy to help you get your IT pointed in the right direction.