Are You Properly Staffed for Your IT Needs?
It’s not a big secret how important IT is to the growth and development of your company. The proper use of technology will help your business flourish, but sometimes properly staffing IT may seem a bit tricky. You understand the need to be prepared for changes and increases in production, but do you know how many people you need in IT? Are you confident that you are properly staffed?
Finding the Right Number
How many people should you have in your IT staff? For a small business, the average number of IT staff should look like the following:
- Small: 1 IT employee for every 14.7 regular employees
- Medium: 1 IT employee for every 24.9 regular employees
- Large: 1 IT employee for every 47 regular employees
- Very Large: 1 IT employee for every 69.25 regular employees
Your actual needs will be determined by your customers and your business plan, among other things, but should really focus on your company’s overall strategic plan. You should ask yourself the following questions:
- Where do you envision your company going, and how do you plan to get there?
- How does technology factor in to your plans for growth? What do you need it to do?
- Is technology vital to your business, or simply office tools?
A Hint That You are Overstaffed
There are many small and mid-sized businesses that have a single person or team handling both the regular, day-to-day work in addition to the various special projects that arise, all while providing management with business insights.
In most cases, this is simply too much, and everything suffers as a result. If, however, they are able to handle it all, there is a good chance that you are overstaffed, and if that is the case, you are simply wasting money.
How to Right-Size Your IT Staff
A good place to start is simply to talk to your staff and see how they are feeling. Do they feel overwhelmed? Your employees should feel as though they are being challenged, but you don’t want them to be under excessive stress. If they rely on technology, make sure they are receiving all the support and insights necessary to complete their work properly and on time.
Ensure that your leaders and other employees are receiving proactive support; when it comes to new technologies, they should be rolled out before the old one begins to fail, employees should be trained on new systems, and everyone should be receiving the necessary insights that will help them increase productivity and drive growth.
Most importantly, you should be confident in your IT security.
Something else to keep in mind is that while you don’t want to end up overstaffed and wasting money, being understaffed in your IT will also have a variety of drawbacks, such as an effect on growth and operations, as well as a negative impact on staff morale. Worst of all, it could impact your customers.
Finding the right balance for your IT offers many benefits to you, your staff, and your customers. It will allow you to meet all your daily and special needs, while also managing growth.
An IT Staffing Checklist
To help determine the staffing needs of your business, it’s worth taking a bit of time to talk with your staff for their feedback. Some things to do:
- Discuss things with your staff and customers.
- Find out how your company’s technology is perceived. This perception may have a larger impact than the reality.
- Look for areas that can be improved, as well as what works in order to build upon it.
- Prioritize tasks that need attending to right away and determine which can wait. Assign a time frame to have everything done.
- Determine the staff needed to meet your ongoing needs as well as any special needs that arise.
Your IT department is a vital part of your business, but it is important that you manage the staffing according to your needs so that you are neither over- or under-staffed. The proper balance will let you accomplish all your goals while managing to facilitate greater growth.
For all your IT needs, contact Safe Harbour today!