Let’s say you have a team of five or 10 employees. Do you need a full-time IT manager to look after your team, your computers, and your devices? Or, could you get by with part-time help in that situation?
What happens if you double or triple the company’s size? How many employees do you need then?
We often hear about various rules of thumb that entrepreneurs and executives follow to arrive at the correct IT staffing levels. Putting aside the issue that every business and industry is different, there is a bigger issue with trying to follow these kinds of formulas. That’s because “How many tech employees do you need?” is actually a trick question.
The truth is that there are a lot of different ways to staff your IT department. But none of them require you to have any full- or part-time employees if it doesn’t make sense for you. Let us explain.
Why You Might Not Want Any IT Employees
There are essentially three types of IT departments we come across in small businesses:
Small Businesses With an In-House Team – This can sometimes be the case in a very small business. There might be one person with IT training, although that individual might work part time or split their duties between different departments. Or, the business could have a small handful of people covering everything.
The problems here are obvious. For one thing, it requires a single person (or small group) to have many different specialties. Also, the company is in trouble if that person leaves.
Small Businesses With an Outsourced IT Partner – In this scenario, the business doesn’t have any full- or part-time IT personnel and staff. Instead, everything is outsourced to a trusted managed services partner.
This configuration allows for the smallest budgets and maximum flexibility. Because the company doesn’t have to pay salary or benefits, expenses are reduced. And of course, the business owner can scale services up or down anytime, or change to a completely new vendor.
Small Businesses With a Mixture of Employees and Vendors – In this setup, some staff work directly for the company while other specialists are brought in from a managed services firm.
The upside here is that a business owner can keep a small group of employees whom they trust and that know the business inside and out. However, they can also get the advanced skills and coverage they need without paying for several more full-time salaries.
Which Option Is Right for Your Business?
Obviously, we can’t tell you what’s right for your business in a blog post. What we can do, though, is point out that each configuration has its advantages and disadvantages. And, we can get you thinking a bit more creatively about your IT staffing needs. Usually, it’s when entrepreneurs start making “either/or” decisions that things go wrong.
If you aren’t sure what your IT strategy should look like in 2023 and beyond, why not get help from the experts? Contact Fantastic IT today to schedule a free consultation and see what we can do to help you run a smarter, more efficient company.