Why are you wrestling with this problem? Its not your area of expertise or interest, but you know that your company couldnt survive without it. So OUTSOURCE it! Let somebody who likes the challenge and is good at it take those headaches away.
I just had a conversation with a CEO of a small company with an in-house, managed technology infrastructure. He was complaining he cant get his IT guy to do the little things that need to be taken care of like giving a new PC to a new employee. Theres a double whammy: a new employee thats not productive and an IT guy that youre paying to help get employees productive.
That comes out to less than what hes paying for one guy whos not doing the job and he gets a whole company that is dedicated, trained and has incentive to provide him with the level of support he wants and expects.
The SMB Challenge
The challenge that most small companies have is they built their infrastructure over several years and have never looked at where theyre at today versus where theyve come from. The rest of the company is typically focused on building product and value where IT is just the foundation on which all that building and value rests. This organic growth of companies leaves them little time to sit back and reflect on the foundations of the growth.
One day when the server crashes and it takes a week to get back online, they realize they have a problem, but the IT guy is working is tail off to get things back to normal, when normal is not where they want to be. They need a solid, stable, secure foundation on which to grow the company to the next level. Most companies dont understand how much they rely on the technology to get through each day. Its become ubiquitous and they dont take notice of it until its not there.
Step back and look at what youre doing. By now youve outsourced your payroll so people get paid the right amount on time. Youve maybe outsourced your sales process management to somebody like SalesForce.com or Microsoft. Why arent you outsourcing the other pieces of business process like IT support to somebody who knows what theyre doing across a wide range of company sizes?
Outsourcers have the experienced staff to solve problems quickly. They can help you put together a disaster recovery plan. They can help you protect your valuable information assets from theft and hackers. Your single IT guy cant do that no matter how smart or hard working he or she is. Get them some help.
If the IT person has the right stuff, theyll welcome the help and work on getting the right kind of partner in place. They can off load all those daily crisis projects on somebody else and focus on getting the truly business-value enhancing projects done. If they fear this kind of change, perhaps its because they fear loss of control. Tell them its not about loss of control, but gaining more control over more resources and lots more influence in the companys future.