Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had your own personal pit crew? I imaging pulling my car into my garage and going about my business at home. Sometime during the night, a highly trained pit crew enters my garage. They quietly and confidently top off fluids, change tires, fix anything that needs repairs, take care of any recalls, certify my brakes are good, wash, wax, vacuum, and then leave quietly. The next morning I head off to work and step into the garage knowing my car is set from top to bottom. It is in the best condition it can be and is far less likely to have an issue on the road. I also know that if I do have any roadside problems, this same pit crew will be there in short order and solve whatever the problem is with skill and care. This really isn’t practical or even truly necessary for the typical automobile and the typical driver, but one can dream!
While the Pit Crew Story is a pipe dream for my personal car, it is a necessity for a business network. IT is the central nervous system of your business. If your servers are down, or your team is frequently having IT issues, or you lose data due to poorly functioning backups, there is a significant impact on your business. Unlike the fairly static and consistent nature of a newer vehicle, your IT network is a complex web of different PCs, Macs, Tablets, Switches, Servers and Software that is frequently being updated, changed, tweaked, and even used differently than it was in the past. Your IT is being targeted by every hacker and would-be-hacker who can create an automated bot to break your security. These factors make having a top notch IT pit crew necessary.
Here are 7 IT Pains That a Top-Notch IT Pit Crew Will Solve:
- Always Being Behind – Your IT person always seems to be stretched and fighting to keep up. This is quite common if you are relying on a single technical person for your IT. One person can’t do it all. You need the depth of a full team with varying knowledge and skillsets. Some IT people excel at troubleshooting, others have strength in being innovative, or in security, or in working with people to solve their computer issues. In addition, with only a single individual you are at risk if they win the lottery, just leave, or even go on vacation.
- Lack of Stability – IT feels like a fire drill. Priorities are always shifting and getting projects done is painful. Strong process is extremely important to be effective at IT. There has to be a process for things like prioritizing immediate trouble type user issues and balancing that against long-term objectives. Quite often in a one or two person IT environment there is very little process and everything is done in reactive mode. The result is the long-term objectives of the organization often suffer.
- No Benchmark – I am worried that things are not being done the right way and don’t have any way to benchmark our IT. Best practices are essential to build a solid IT platform. A top-notch IT team has an established best practice baseline and is willing to share it. They are able to point to their experience at other organizations and at industry standards, and will be able to provide an assessment of your current state and recommendations to improve.
- Security and Recovery – I am concerned about security and avoiding viruses and information theft, but it seems like my IT person often brushes over these concerns. Security creates pain for everyone. Having to change passwords, deal with screen locks, use email encryption, and other security measures is no fun. However, these things can save your company huge amounts of down-time, lost information, and even financial damage. If you have the right IT resource, they will regularly bring up security and help you build a network that balances functionality and security.
- No Technology Wins – We haven’t had any real technology break-throughs in a long time. There are some areas where we believe we could make changes, but there is always something in the way. This is a common IT problem. In order to consider ways to build efficiency and automate, you have to first be stable. If you never achieve stable and planned, you never move on to leverage technology to the next level, and the next level brings real productivity.
- Shifting IT Budget – Our IT expenditures are a bit of an unknown. We have a lot of unexpected purchases and our IT budget is rarely on target. IT can be planned and budgeted with very few surprises. A solid IT team will address the issues creating instability, correct them, and make IT a constant. Instability and inability to budget are usually created by trying to “get by”, and by failing to follow best practice. Once these items are addressed, stability comes.
- Too Much Mystery – Because our IT seems a little unstructured, I am concerned about the behind the scenes stuff. I’m concerned about whether the IT equivalent of brakes, tires, and oil changes is really happening. IT done right just includes these things. Things like bi-weekly security patches, reviewing log files, updating firewalls, tracking software licensing, testing backups, and so many more should be systematized and even automated using specialized monitoring tools. If this is a manual process it rarely or at least only sporadically happens.
The highly performing IT Pit Crew is a bit of a rarity. It is particularly difficult to create the process and discipline needed if you only have one or two people addressing IT in your organization. This specialized IT Team is what we focus on at CTaccess and strive to deliver every day. If you don’t have an awesome IT Pit Crew, please contact us. We welcome the opportunity to talk and see if we can help!