Managing your business IT can be challenging.  How do you know what approach fits best with your needs and your budget?  Here are 5 options to consider.

A “Guy” On-Call

Your “guy” is often someone who has a full-time job and does IT on the side.

The good news is you have someone to call who has a basic understanding of your network, and you probably pay as you go.

The bad news is he’s available on his schedule which may leave you without help in an emergency, his work is responsive rather than proactive, and paying as you go results in unpredictable costs.

Not His “Real” Job

This is the “who wears the hat?” scenario.  Maybe you have someone who has an interest in IT, or maybe he’s in accounting or finance so it just falls to him.  Either way, he’s torn between two roles.

The good news is help is onsite during business hours, he may understand your network set-up, and costs are predictable unless you need to call on outside help.

The bad news is additional IT responsibilities may add hours to his work week, the work is still responsive rather than proactive, and his primary expertise is not in IT.

Full-time IT Person

Hire your own person.  She’s there all day, and she can get it done!

The good news is that she’s onsite during business hours, she definitely understands your network set-up, costs are predictable unless outside help is required, and she understands your business goals for proactive planning and budgeting.

The bad news is she requires benefits and supervision, there’s no coverage for days off without outside expense, if she leaves the company her expertise of your network goes with her, and it’s difficult to develop a breadth and depth of IT knowledge in a single individual.

A “Firm” On-Call

This is a close cousin to the “guy on-call” scenario except now you have a team of “guys”.

The good news is someone will be available to help during business hours, they may have a basic knowledge of your network, there’s a team so you don’t have to worry about covering days off, and usually purchasing block hours will give you some budget direction.

The bad news is that troubleshooting time can be uncertain which can result in unpredictable costs, if your staff is afraid of a bill they may try to troubleshoot on their own instead, and the on-call model is still responsive rather than proactive.

IT Managed Services Partner

In this model, you pay a predictable fee for uptime rather than paying when something breaks.

The good news is that an IT team is available during business hours, they’re responsive and proactive, they have a comprehensive knowledge of your network, there’s a team so you don’t have to worry about covering days off, and the fee is expected so your staff can simply call anytime.

The bad news is that it requires a planned IT budget, and the services may be too comprehensive for very small organizations.

Consider which of these models would best meet the IT management needs of your organization. If your business needs help managing IT, contact CRU Solutions.