How Should a Startup Manage Its IT Department?
Making your Startup equipped with ID department is a very important step in managing your business. Considering the fact the technology boosts the productivity and profitability of any business, IT department may promote your startup on a whole new level. But before establishing this new entity one should wisely decide whether ID department is really needed, as it may become a burden on the shoulders of your company demanding unnecessary resources and funds.
Is IT department really needed?
First of all, it should be determined to what extent IT department is required. There are many questions that you usually solve with the help of technical support services, maybe it is better to hire a full-time IT specialist, who will be shown the ropes of the business and consequently provide it with better technical support than any other service.
Secondly, decide whether technology is crucial for your business. For some companies it is enough to supply their personnel with laptops, internal applications (Email, Collaboration, SaaS products) and if required use service of companies which offer technical support.
The best way to estimate the importance of IT department in you company is simply to ask your employees, how they would continue working in a situation of major technical breakdown. In the case of complete downtime, it is worth to think about establishing IT department.
How to establish IT Department?
When after all you decided that IT department is crucial for your startup, the next question evoking – what is the right way to establish it? There are two methods. First, make your IT department organic, that allocates some IT tasks to employees along with their primary responsibilities. This method is good for small companies, as it requires less money spending.
However, makeshift IT department may improvise and solve tasks incorrectly, which is posed as a huge drawback of such method.
When the company reaches the moment when technological constituent requires more efforts and investments, it is worth start planning IT department from the very beginning by hiring professionals. Although this method requires more resources involvement, it is compatible with the rest of the world and provides work of high quality at an early stage of its foundation.
So when the company decides to hire dedicated IT professionals and establish IT department within the company, what is the way of its successful management?
As early as in the year 2008, Eric Ries, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, developed a method called Lean startup. Originally, the concept was developed to be used in high-tech companies, but it has rapidly expanded to be applied to any individual team. What are the insight of Lean startup, which will teach you how to manage IT department effectively?
1. It is all psychology
IT department is one of those entities where the less work is done the better result it shows. It is important to understand that forcing the IT employees to work hard where it is not necessary or no need at all, damages the efficiency and morale of the department. The better solution will be to pay more attention to training and keeping track of technological progress.
2. Only dedicated professionals
If you hire lower paid staff which is not educated or experienced enough, then you doom your startup to leg behind other companies. That will bring you neither success nor income.
3. Better safe than sorry
IT managers are to schedule time for technicians to perform proper maintenance to keep machine working effectively as long as possible. That includes virus scanning, deleting temporary files and cookies, cleaning dust out of cases, performing router maintenance and running updates on the operating system or related software. At that, the best time to perform these tasks is considered to be in the evening or on weekends so that to avoid potential downtime during the workflow.
4. Keeping up with the times
Never forget technology as well as time never stops. Reading professional literature, catching up on forums, performing researches on the regular part of the job will keep your mind updated. Technology moves fast, so never miss new opportunities it is constantly offering. Don`t afraid of changes and make your IT department flexible to them.