There you are… sipping your first cup, responding to your morning emails and all of a sudden, that giant fiery meteor hits your desk.
David’s 2-week resignation notice.
For eight years David has been handling your IT. Data backups, firewalls, email inboxes – haven’t been your concern on a day-to-day basis. Until now.
It’s never a good feeling to lose someone. But when that “someone” is your IT Department, a sense of panic typically accompanies the loss, and usually when it’s too late. If an exit and transition plan is not in place for that individual, this can (and many times does) leave small and medium sized businesses scrambling to recover passwords, find software keys, contact vendors – all the while, necessities like data backups and security updates suffer delays. Your business simply does not have the time or resources to deal with that sort of risky situation or loss of productivity.
Here are four pro-active tips to help you plan for that dreaded 2-weeks (or even shorter) notice:
Step one: Have a conversation about a good transition.Let your departing IT Person know that you want to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible for the company’s sake and for their sake. If they’re smart, then burning bridges and leaving you in a bind are likely not on their agenda. (Note: If you are concerned about a rocky exit and shady behaviors, that’s not a situation you want to deal with alone - contact us).
Step two: Schedule an exit meeting. Two weeks goes by quickly.If you chose to find a replacement and were lucky enough to find an immediate hire – we’d recommend you meet with both individuals to make sure as much knowledge is being transferred as possible. If you do not have a replacement, then this time is crucial for you to review everything they have included in their Exit Report. If you trust this individual to be as thorough as possible, then the report might suffice. But if we’re honest with each other, IT is not your expertise. So we’d recommend that you:
Step three: Consider bringing in a third-party for the transition.A Managed Service Provider (or MSP) allows your business to offload IT operations to an outside team of IT experts who have the credentials and experience to 1) document your network and 2) keep you secure. A MSP can make the transition for your business much smoother – ultimately saving you time, money, energy and leaving no gap in productivity.
Step four: Research your long-term replacement options.IT has transitioned over the years to include many different models that ultimately depend on your business type and company goals. Your default does not have to be to search for a replacement IT person, but it CAN be IF that’s what fits your business model best. The loss of an IT person is a good time to reexamine your company’s growth goals and learn how the different IT models can help you get there. Here is a quick recap of the basic models that your company can consider:
1. In-house IT
Well, it’s worked for eight years, so why not just put your HR department to work finding a replacement for David as soon possible? But has it worked? Has it really, REALLY worked? We’re not saying it hasn’t. But make sure you have the tools to keep an in-house IT department accountable to your business needs and growth goals.
2. Hybrid IT Model
This combination of internal IT support staff and outsourced IT consulting services represents the best of both worlds. You get to utilize a MSP to provide the most cost effective support model AND retain in-house expertise on your applications and business processes. (Read: 9 Benefits of Using Hybrid IT Models and IT Outsourcing).
3. Fully Outsourced IT
There is a chance that outsourced IT support may…just may…SAVE YOU MONEY. In fact, we’re confident that it can and our clients can testify. Full-service outsourced IT support also takes the worry out of IT management – freeing company leaders to focus on their business rather than technical or staffing issues.
Chances are you would never let your accounting or operations manager walk out the door without having them transition their knowledge. Yet for some reason, SMBs don’t give the same level of attention to their departing IT staff. In this digital, technical world we all share, your company simply cannot afford an interruption in its email, research, internet, database or productivity tools.
So be ready… people move on. Plan ahead.