This is a call to all IT Managers and IT professionals struggling to deal with the demanding workloads of running a small or medium sized business IT!
My name is Nick Fulford and I am a Senior Technical Consultant at Torix. In my previous role I gathered a great amount of experience in the rewards, demands and pitfalls of being an IT Manager at a medium sized business, a role I undertook for 10 years.
Throughout that time, the business went through many changes, as did I and my approach towards IT Support and Management. When I first started in IT and in my early days as a manager I remember feeling like I needed to know everything and do everything – security, disaster recovery, backup procedures – the lot.
The problem was with this approach (putting aside my stress levels and 12 hour days for a moment) was that I was soon stuck in a rut, simply ‘keeping the lights on’ – never being able to evaluate and implement new technologies, never being able to improve IT procedures and processes, and, as I was bogged down doing the same mundane tasks every day, never being able to progress my career.
Getting my life back
Slowly but surely I realised that this way of working was not sustainable. On consultation with my peers working in similar roles in other businesses I decided to outsource some elements of my IT Infrastructure and IT service delivery to service delivery partners.
I wanted to run a small mini series on my journey as an IT Manager outsourcing his IT delivery out to service provider and what I learnt. Now I’m no Sue Townsend and I can’t promise it will be as entertaining as the wonderful book I paid homage to in the title but if you are an IT Manager like I was and are thinking about outsourcing then I thought sharing my own journey might be useful.
So, lets get the obvious out of the way – outsourcing freed up a lot of my time. The new approach enabled me to develop a much broader set of management skills such as service and project management, and it let me add much more value to the business than I was.
This solved the obvious problem of freeing up my and my teams time and allowed us to focus on other more involved, more value add projects to the business. We cut costs by reducing the number of (expensive) IT Contractors and overtime. We reduced the impact on the business of IT staff holidays and absence, doing this allowed far more time to be spent focused on the business rather than the service desk alone.
So far so good. You knew all of that didn’t you? Bear with me, part 2 I’ll get into the nitty gritty of it all.