Small businesses and startups face unique challenges across the board. Owners and managers are often forced to become experts in aspects of business they never considered: property rental, vendor relations, marketing, even managing an IT team. Many find themselves “jack of all trades; master of none” when ideally, they would focus on parts of their business they know best and help it thrive.
If you’re juggling roles throughout your business or if you’ve found your non-techy self at the head of an IT team, you may be at a loss for what to do.
How Do You Manage an IT Team When You Don’t Know about IT?
Regardless of how or why you find yourself managing an IT team, a few management hallmarks can help you through the process. Be prepared to dedicate time and energy to the task of cultivating your IT team, but also know when to step back and receive advice from the on-the-ground experts.
Let’s dive in to a few tips.
- Have a Team of Principled Experts
An ideal team—as well as one that is happiest in their work—is trusted, well-compensated, and given the space to seek creative solutions. Of course, this ideal team doesn’t come out of thin air. Hiring an in-house IT team or choosing an outsourced IT provider should be a careful series of decisions, marked by research and even testing. As the manager of such a team, you should be directly involved in the hiring process so you have a say in the character and skill set of the team you are gathering.
In the high-competition field of IT, it may be difficult to keep your ideal team once you have it. Once they earn your trust and showcase their aptitude, be sure to treat your ideal team as the experts they are. You know the needs of your business, but you have to count on your IT staff to architect and implement the most secure solutions to protect your data. This is why it’s important to hire someone you can trust with a depth of technology experience.
- Stay Educated
Keep a finger on the pulse of tech news, including updates, zero-day threats, cybercrime trends, and industry best practices. Earn certifications or read up on the certifications your team should seek. Facilitate continuing education in your business as an incentive to retain your team long-term and to foster a company culture that encourages learning and sharing knowledge.
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- Ask Questions
Check in with your team throughout the day. Don’t be afraid to ask “why.” Ask your team to help you learn about situations they’re facing and brainstorm solutions together. Before making large project decisions, work with your team to understand staffing, time, or budget constraints. Let them ask questions, too. The last thing you want is them wasting time and effort on something that might be great for most companies but doesn’t work for yours.
- Require Accountability
Review all reports your team provides—they aren’t busy work. If you don’t know or understand a report, discuss it with your team until you do. It can help you catch errors, streamline the workload, and encourage accountability. Walk through testing backups and systems with your team and make checks at least quarterly. If you have any doubts, or just want reassurance, request an outside audit of your IT systems. Where results don’t align with what your team has told you, review together, make changes, or move on.
If that sounds like a lot, you’re right—it is a lot, especially for a business owner, president, or other member of the C-Suite. Those jobs all come with an already-full plate that frankly doesn’t have extra time for managing an IT team.
How do most small businesses cope with that?
They hire an internal IT team or freelance IT support, who they expect will do the job they’re paid to, and deal with the fallout if the team fails to deliver. Stuck in a hiring and firing cycle, many small businesses are forever playing catch-up and never get to the big picture projects and improvements they need.
Anderson Technologies has witnessed numerous IT horror stories. Do any of these situations sound frustratingly familiar?
- My IT team-of-one got recruited and now I have no IT.
- My IT team said they were doing everything to keep us safe, but then we lost our data.
- My IT team is stuck in the past, and modern threats are at our door.
- My IT team keeps making promises that they don’t deliver.
- My IT team discusses tech issues in ways I don’t understand.
With all of the risks of managing an IT team, how do you manage an IT team when you don’t know about technology?
The Answer Is Simple
Partnering with a managed IT services provider could be the solution you’re looking for, at a fraction of the cost of an in-house IT team.
A managed IT services provider, especially one with an emphasis on client success, takes care of the task of managing an IT team with technical depth. It is their responsibility to ensure jobs get done and promises are delivered, and to provide proof of their work to make it easy for you to sleep at night. Most importantly, a trusted managed IT services provider leaves you with the time and energy to focus on the areas of your business where you excel.
If you’re looking for the refreshing peace of mind that comes from an IT services partnership you can rely on, Anderson Technologies is here to provide expert support across the United States. Do you qualify for a free 360 Network and Infrastructure Audit?