In a rising workforce of Millennials who value self education, Google has done something pretty crazy. They’ve made it so that any information that an individual requires is available at the click of a button. Anything you need to know is right there for the taking. You can Google health symptoms and diagnose your own medical issue – and you can even execute IT support and troubleshoot your technology. This has simultaneously been a blessing and an issue for many businesses. A single Google Guru all of a sudden becomes the go-to resource for information and technology help and every person in the organization approaches them when the copier is jammed or their workstation freezes. Supporting a few users on Google is simple enough – but what happens when the issues stem beyond their realm of expertise? Here are a few signs that your resident Google Guru is handicapping your organization’s technology.
Whether it’s the telephone or the internet – uptime is the only way to guarantee productivity for your employees. For some places that are consumer-focused or sales-focused this is huge. When the phones stop ringing, you start losing money. But when the person responsible for your IT systems is plagued with mounting issues and their own job as well – it can be hours (sometimes days!) before an issue is resolved. (Of course, this isn’t their fault, read this blog on why your IT Director isn’t a superhero.)
Bandaids are great for healing wounds, but when applied to technology they’re going to fall off – and when they do, that issue could get even worse. Examples of this are rebooting hardware to clear issues rather than getting to the root of the problem or purchasing server hardware and moving data over to other systems rather than designing the system around the business need. You can see how these types of things might lead to hardware failure, network issues or lagging servers. Repairing a problem one time is a lot different than understanding the source and planning for the best long-term fix.
No centralized antivirus.
Cleaning up workstations with antivirus software for each workstation is a good way to avoid viruses, but it’s not a good way to monitor them continually for new ones, or ensure that the antivirus definitions are being updated to accommodate for the latest threats. These days organizations need a centrally managed antivirus solution. Here’s a great blog on avoiding infections and antivirus software.
A few hours of phone service outage is one thing – taking an entire organization down for failed antivirus, failed backup or compromising business data is another thing entirely. What you don’t realize by having an employee that’s responsible for your systems and technology is that the only power you have when something fails is firing that employee. You’ll have to pay tens of thousands to get your data recovered, get your systems back online or even hundreds of thousands if that employee’s error is discovered by those governing your organization’s compliance.
Saving money in the short term is a great thing. What business owner doesn’t want to save money? If you don’t yet have an IT Director and are relying on the resident Google IT Guru, things could go from bad to worse, particularly as you continue to grow. If you have an in-house IT Director that you hired to be strategic, but they’re being pulled in too many directions – it’s time to start looking at bringing in someone to do the dirty work while your IT Director focuses on the long term, vendor management, high-level support and strategy. Be smart, understand your technology resources, don’t overwork your internal resources and get the support and strategy that you need.