The Stages of IT: Part One


This morning my roommate asked me, “So, why do these companies hire you guys? Don’t any of your clients have people that know about IT?” It’s a valid question if you’ve never been part of an office structure. But before I could start babbling at him about what Managed IT is, I had to give him a breakdown of the way most companies start out.


Self-employed people who are businesses of one or small startup companies with only 2-3 employees don’t usually consider IT support in their business model, generally because of a lack of capital. And managing a network that consists of just a computer and external hard drive is something most people can figure out on their own (back it up). It’s when startups grow to include either more employees or begin to collaborate with each other outside the office that IT support shows its worth.


A lot of times, IT begins with the most technically-inclined person in the office helping to troubleshoot minor problems. And they soon feel obligated to put aside some of their office duties in order to troubleshoot a printer, or help their team members with software and connection problems. Now, they’re the go-to IT person and as a result, they’re devoting more and more time to fixing problems rather than doing the job they were hired for. So, the “go-to” is left feeling frustrated and unaccomplished while overall productivity takes a dive. That’s something most startups can’t afford to have happen, especially when that go-to person is such an integral part of the business.

Eventually, the situation devolves into a total mess. People are stuck waiting to get support while the go-to person finishes their work, if they’re not already helping someone else. The higher ups are wondering what’s happened to productivity. And the poor soul who’s become everyone’s fix-it guy is stretched so thin that they begin to dread going into work. It can be a vicious cycle for sure. But where to go from here? Well, let’s call this an IT cliffhanger and address more in Part Two.

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