Employing an IT Person. When a student leaves uni, with their IT degree, what we have found is that that person is able to learn IT. Most of what they need to know in the business world, they as yet do not know, but they know where to find this information. Once working in IT, we notice people move into areas of specialty very quickly – and this is due to the depth and width of IT today. For example, they may become a specialist in networks, web design, programming, interfacing, call centers, servicing, hardware, communications – the list goes on. IT people in general like to socialise and communicate with other IT people, because this is what interests them. So often IT people do not like working on their own, they find this limiting, and do not feel they get the depth of skill that they desire.
So if you are employing a single IT person, be aware that for some IT people, they will not stay long, as they need to share their skills. This in itself can cause businesses stress.
Outsourced skills are even wider than employing a single IT person. Outsource, could be for a specialized area of expertise. E.g. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation Specialist), programmer etc. I personally use an Outsourced SEO, because the person we employ does a wonderful job, is timely, of value and really understands what we are attempting to achieve. So even though she is outsourced, she is really part of the Accede Family.
Outsourced skills of other IT companies. As you can see I have run an IT company for 32 years, but even with this skill and experience, there are areas, that are best to be outsourced, and this is due to expertise, knowledge etc. An example of this is Cisco Router programming, yes we have done this, but we are not the most cost effective to do this, and so we outsource this work.
So how as a business owner do you make the right choices? You need a consultant that is IT aware, that is prepared to review your needs and make the right choices for you. There are many consultants that do this, but even more that are saying this when they actually want to be the single employee – outsourcing and managing all your outsourced work, and this costs even more money.
My suggestion, is to put the area of your IT up for review. Initially review your needs. Once you have done this, the next best step is to use your network. Chat about your needs to your fellow SME operators, and find out what they are doing and is it really working for them.
I have found that off shore staff if managed well, really can make a big difference, and it is great to see companies like vsm.com.au (Virtual Staff Management) get going. All this company does is manage virtual IT staff for your company. So you don’t have to chase, understand IT etc. Just explain what you want and it is outsourced. This costs a bit more than outsourcing yourself, but then you don’t have to interpret your ideas to IT speak, nor do you have to chase work, or test or anything. Just ask, and you get. Really good option to achieve IT work.
So if you are asking yourself, what is the best thing for your business. Start by clearly defining what IT jobs you wish to do, then review this with fellow managers, and if you don’t have this, get a consultant – or put these jobs up for tender. Even this experience, will give you many options.
Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.