There were calls in the middle of the night. An employee couldn’t connect to the server. There were urgent messages received during important business meetings. Someone’s computer wouldn’t connect to the Internet. There were emails while she was on vacation. The network was down. Again.
Welcome to the world of the operations manager at a busy Oklahoma City-based medical clinic with offices on three campuses across the metro. The words “Information Technology” were nowhere in her background or job description.
Yet, she was the de facto IT manager for a medical business that supported more than 40 employees, hundreds of customers and thousands of electronic medical records. When the clinic began operations two decades ago, electronic medical records were not yet in existence, and the four employees shared one desktop computer.
As the clinic grew, it became increasingly evident that the scope of their IT challenges could no longer be solved by the operations manager who wasn’t an IT person to begin with. Here are six key signs that alert a growing business like this medical clinic that it has outgrown its internal IT capabilities:
- Your “IT” manager is also your office manager. Or sales manager. Or new young hire who happens to be an enthusiastic gamer. The common thread is that none of them have any experience or certifications necessary for properly supporting and maintaining a computer network.
- Your network was set up many years ago by a friend of a friend. Your IT “expert” was a tech savvy guy who you haven’t seen or heard from since your network was setup.
- Your computers, servers and other hardware are ancient. And you haven’t updated your operating system or security patches since your last purchase. PSA: outdated hardware and software are a security risk that increase your liabilities and puts you at risk of a cyber-attack.
- An employee brought a virus into your network by visiting an inappropriate website or by opening a suspicious email. Your computers are down for an extended period of time. You bring in a dial-for-help IT guy to troubleshoot the problem and get you back up and running, leaving you with no predictability over repair time and costs. You are always reacting to problems rather than being proactive to them.
- Savings you gain by having one of your employees do double duty as “IT manager” are negated by business lost because of frequent downtime. When the network goes down, it halts all business. And the frustratingly slow computers prevent you from connecting with customers or vendors. Costs for repairs done on an ad hoc basis are adding up and the person isn’t able to do the job they were originally hired to do.
- Your “IT manager” took another job because the challenge of maintaining your computer network became too much of a burden. There were not enough hours in the day to keep the network running and do their real job, which is what they prefer to do. Now you are down TWO key employees.
If any of these sound familiar, it may be time to consider outsourcing your IT to a provider who has expertise, depth and scalability. According to the operations manager at the medical clinic, “Life is now a million times easier,” once they decided to shift their IT responsibilities to a reputable and trusted outsourced provider.