Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez
Today’s business world is more tech-savvy than ever, and staying ahead of the competition often requires staying ahead of the latest trends in technology. But for smaller IT departments this can be a total challenge, where keeping an open dialogue with the rest of the company and understanding their needs to find the right solutions is the only path to success. Of course, investing in quality tools, so the IT team has access to reliable and current resources, would be ideal, as well as researching new technologies, and networking with experts to explore unusual sources for potential tech advances, but this is not always the case. Often, a small IT department can provide innovative solutions, stay competitive and maintain a robust infrastructure even in an increasingly fast-paced world only by doing a truly heroic effort at getting the job done.
For these reasons, having an external tech partner can greatly relieve the stress caused by tackling complex tasks without enough resources, bringing outside expertise and additional bandwidth to the table to tackle any project efficiently and cost-effectively. With this access to best practices and tools designed specifically for the task at hand, utilizing an outsourcing partner can be one of the strongest leverage points in making sure that small IT teams can do more with less.
However, there’s no denying that maintaining a mid-sized business’s IT department running smoothly can still be tricky. Smaller teams have a more difficult time responding quickly to software and hardware malfunctions, meaning keeping your tech running at an optimal level can be difficult. It can also be hard to adequately protect sensitive data that is stored digitally, as cybersecurity solutions often require more resources than the small IT staff may possess. On top of all this, managing employees’ demands and expectations takes further coordination from the small team members. And that’s without mentioning how keeping up with advancements in technology is also a challenge for smaller teams who might not have the budget for frequent upgrades and replacement parts. For many businesses, having a dedicated IT department is an invaluable asset, but these departments face unique hurdles that should not be overlooked.
With this in mind, it’s fair to say that being in charge of such responsibilities is nothing short of daring for many IT leaders, especially when it comes to times of crisis and rapid change that often require these departments to do a lot with very little. So what are your options if the job is surpassing your resources, and you need to find quality solutions fast? What is the best approach to take?
The Hero Call
There are a few simple steps to have in mind if you need to become the IT hero at your company. Do your research and learn everything you can about the systems currently in use; chances are that by having a thorough knowledge of information systems, industry trends, and technology, you’ll set yourself apart from the rest. Being an ardent learner, able to stay on top of advancements and new technologies while being proficient in problem-solving skills, is also a must because, when used correctly, IT can help companies become more efficient and maximize their output, so taking extra initiative to understand how different aspects of the IT domain fit together is essential. And last, but not least, building relationships with other departments in the organization too (and knowing how various areas work together) can help you better understand how technology can best be applied to meet organizational objectives.
All of these preparations can make a difference if a tech crisis happens. For a small IT department, dealing with these difficult situations (that can go from sudden malware attacks that cripple operations to unexpected hardware breakdown that leaves machines non-functional, to incorporating a new platform to change the workflow of the company) can be a daunting prospect, so the best thing you can do is approach the situation with focus and thoroughness. Bringing in all involved stakeholders so you can assess both the short-term and long-term impact of the project and develop a plan of action is a good first step. Secondly, find ways to streamline processes by leveraging technology already available in the department as well as ensuring there are reliable backups in place. And always strive to maintain consistent communication so all parties involved are kept up-to-date on the actions being taken.
Nevertheless, even the best IT departments can sometimes be outclassed by the size of the task, which is why having the perfect Nearshore partner at your side is the best course of action. We have touched on the subject of choosing the perfect tech partner, but in short, when tackling IT problems for small businesses, the key is to face difficult situations with creativity. Successfully taking on a big technology project requires the ability to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions that fan enthusiasm for the project’s objectives. Furthermore, having excellent communication skills will help ensure that this technology project is understood and adopted within an organization. Adopting new technologies can be daunting, so bring patience and composure to the table when introducing a new technology initiative.
And if you decide to go down the path of bringing a development partner, there are some key items to look for, like 24/7 support, an in-depth understanding of the industry, and enough flexibility to accommodate rapid changes. Businesses should also confirm that they have reliable security protocols and measures in place, and remember that experience always counts — having worked with clients similar in size and offering long-term customer service is invaluable. Choosing the right partner can save hours of headaches and help give the business confidence as it grows into the future, and you will be the key to letting this positive outcome happen.
Always bring your best
As the architects of the digital transformation happening in today’s world, IT departments are essential for the success of practically every business, and they have to exhibit a rare combination of expertise, agility, and cross-company collaboration to reach success by possessing a level of technological understanding and reliability to handle any challenge that comes their way. And working quickly and effectively with the outsourcing provider just ensures the right decisions are made quickly and resources are managed responsibly. As the go-to experts on technology in the company, they would ensure the smooth implementation of initiatives while also maintaining proper protocols for cyber security, playing a vital role in streamlining operations between departments. In other words, a heroic IT department can create an efficient working environment where everyone just “clicks”.
And if you add a tech partner to bring any project to fruition, these teams will be enabled to go above and beyond to solve difficult issues that threaten the success of the company, thanks to the knowledge of how to navigate different systems, stay organized, and harness new technology trends that can improve operations, while maintaining cost efficiency. This sets them apart from all other tech departments as their commitment is to take any issue head-on and provide valuable solutions that benefit their clients. With this type of mentality, mid-sized companies can get the most out of their partnerships by knowing that their IT department is up for any challenge put before them, committed to achieving maximum efficiency, good communication, and proactive attitudes without sacrificing the ability to be agile in responding to an evolving landscape.
The Key Takeaways
- Nowadays, IT is the underlying linchpin in many businesses, but this job has plenty of challenges that any competent team has to navigate carefully.
- The best approach for a small IT department that might not have many resources is to have the best development partners and a clear plan to ensure success in any project.
- The department head of IT has a big responsibility on his or her shoulders, so being smart about how to act is what separates the adequate teams from excellent ones.
Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!