We’ve seen it before. An organization‘s internal IT Director decides to leave – for a new position, personal life changes, family matters, etc. – and the company is left uncertain of the future of their IT staff.
Today, there are more factors than ever contributing to turnover.
- The technology sector has always had higher turnover rates than other business sectors. IT & Services coming in at 13% compared to Government at 1%.
- The Great Resignation of 2021 showed turnover ranged from 26% to 40%, with reasons being mental health, elimination of previous location limitations, and simply an individuals preferred work style – in-person, hybrid, or work from home.
- The technology talent shortage that has been an issue for years. Currently, there are more than 1 million job postings in the United States in technology-related fields, according to the National Foundation for American Policy.
These challenges likely affect you and it’s important to have a plan for your organization’s IT staff changes.
Examine Your IT Staff Plan
Hiring to fill the position is always an option. Depending on the size of your business, it may make sense to hire. Typically we’ve found that for very large (over 500 employees) or very small businesses (under 10 employees), it’s sensible to keep things internal. However, that may not be the case if you rely heavily on technology, are extremely fast-growing, or have unique business goals that could benefit from an expert 3rd party. For most small to medium sized businesses, IT staff change offers a great opportunity to examine your overall IT strategy and management.
For example, is your IT supporting your business goals, and promoting growth? Or is it simply fixing issues in the day-to-day? A reactive approach leads to headaches and negative feelings towards technology. A staffing change is prime time to reevaluate. If you’ve been relying more on the break/fix model, this would be your chance to examine ways to better leverage technology, particularly if you aren’t using it to its full potential.
Strategic planning often serves as another driver to look at things in a new light. Maybe you realize that you could improve processes with technology if you made a strategic plan (link to reporting blog). Maybe you look at your plan and think you don’t want to have to go through the difficult recruiting process (link to 6 reasons to outsource blog?) again to replace your previous staff. Or, maybe maintaining tech certifications, or industry regulations like security compliance, is too much for your organization to manage. Whether you had an IT staff of one, or have other IT members staying on, if you are thinking any of the above, it may be time to connect with a managed services provider. An MSP can support your internal staff (link to internal staff blog), or replace your IT staff as they leave, and solve issues like bandwidth and resources with a cost similar (or potentially lower) to replacing your IT staff. When you engage an MSP, you no longer need to think about IT staffing, maintaining tech certifications, or other IT staff management practices. An MSP handles all of this for you as they manage their own staff, which is then passed on to you.
Things to Consider Before IT Staff Departs
Whether you hire a new IT manager, or switch to managed services, ensure before your previous IT staff departs that you have access to every aspect of your technology. Any standard operating procedures should be documented for reference by the new agent or team. Essentially, you want to make sure that you have replicable processes and access to allow your new staff to be successful. While this may look different for each organization, the more comprehensive you are able to make these items, the better.
A word on passwords – your IT staff has access to valuable information, and you want to make sure you stay secure. Passwords to admin accounts, or anything your IT staff had access to before they left, should be changed.
It can be a stressful realization that IT staff is leaving, but there are ways to maneuver the transition so your technology can support your business even better than before. Consider the above elements whether you’re going through a staffing change or not. Either way, you’ll be prepared for the scenario!