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Episode 48 – Who leads my IT tech?

In a well-functioning company, IT is not an island all to itself…no matter how much we technical folks like to treat it that way.  So who leads my IT tech?

This week we’ve been asking, “Should I fire my IT tech?” and I’ve said, “probably not. They’re the only one who knows all the passwords.”

Your IT tech may be more than a tech.  You may have a born CIO who can meld your business strategy to your IT investment.  These individuals do exist, and you’re in great shape if you have one.

More likely, your IT tech loves fiddling with the tech.  That’s why they’re an IT tech. Duh.  Your IT tech needs guidance.  They won’t discern your business strategy unless you take the time to tell them.

If you’re a giant company, your CIO gets to sit through all the committee meetings and turn business direction into concrete direction to the IT staff.  In a regular company, you’re lucky if you have time to even write down the business direction.

As a business manager, it’s tempting to fill that role yourself.  You may even know enough about IT to ask the right questions… in addition to your regular job.

A growing trend is to hire a Virtual CIO.  You don’t need and can’t afford a full-time CIO, but you can hire a fractional one.  Or you may contract out for an IT assessment.  We talked about those last week.

I’m Carter Edmonds with 20CREEK.  We help you build IT you’ll brag about.

Episode #48 – 2/14/2019

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Episode 47 – What supports my IT tech?

Your IT tech may the only one in the building that truly understands your systems.  So, what can you put in place to support the IT tech?

This week we’ve been asking, “Should I fire my IT tech?” and I’ve said, “probably not.”  Not unless they’re watching cat videos all day.

Often, failures aren’t due to the IT tech.  The root cause may be the lack of people, processes, and systems to support the IT tech.  Like a running back on a football team without anyone to block or coaches to review game film.

Now, I love to find creative solutions to complex problems.  But you don’t want to reinvent the wheel.  At some point, you have to reduce that creative solution to repeatable practice.

IT is complex.  Creating those repeatable practices takes time and money.  I read once that it can cost $1.5 million and about 3 years to build mature service delivery.  Regular companies don’t have the time or the money.

You could always ask the IT tech to define these.  A senior tech may jump at the chance.  But if your business is growing, your tech can be pretty busy.  The backlog may be part of the reason you’re dissatisfied.

As usual, other people have through about this before we have.  ITIL is a process map that defines five stages of the service delivery lifecycle.  If you have a single tech, you’re probably not going to spend some on it.  If you’re backing that tech with a service provider, you can find one that is already using those processes.

Tomorrow, we look at IT leadership.  Who guides the IT Tech when IT intersects business?

I’m Carter Edmonds with 20CREEK.  We help you build IT you’ll brag about.

Episode #47 – 2/13/2019

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Episode 46 – Who supports my IT tech?

If your business depends on an IT tech to keep things moving, who does the IT tech depend on?

This week we’re asking, “Should I fire my IT tech?”  Well, probably not.  Not unless they’re posting mean things about the business on Facebook.

Often, the probably isn’t the IT tech.  It’s the support network the IT tech needs to be successful.

If you’re a kindergarten teacher, you’re standing all alone in front of 25 students.  I think it’s 25.  It’s been a long time since I had kids in kindergarten.  Even the best teacher is outnumbered.

Presumably, there’s back up.  When faced with a problem, the other teachers – some more senior, some less so – can provide help and advice.

The same is true about your IT tech.  In a giant company, you have first level techs supported by second level techs supported by third level techs and managers and architects and so on.  The buck stops somewhere and there’s often someone who can’t go home until the problem is solved.

You won’t have that in a regular company.  You have to find a way to reproduce it.

Rather than looking for a tech that is faster, broader, and more experienced, you can look to service providers to deliver those additional layers of experience.  You may not need an architect all day, every day.  But when you need one, you need one.

Tomorrow, we talk about the structural support for your IT tech.

I’m Carter Edmonds with 20CREEK.  We help you build IT you’ll brag about.

Episode #46 – 2/12/2019

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Episode 45 – Should I fire my IT tech?

When a business is successful, you can start to feel growing pains, particularly in IT.  Maybe the IT tech isn’t so good anymore.  Should I fire my IT tech?

Probably not.  Well, unless they’re stealing office supplies.

Even the best IT tech is just one person.  A great employee in a suboptimal environment will usually be suboptimal.  A mediocre employee in a great environment can be reasonably good.  The best ones can transcend all this, but that’s not the way to structure a business.

How do you build that environment where the IT tech can deliver the results you need?  If you were a gigantic bank, you’d have senior techs and junior techs and program managers and manager managers.  That’s hard to replicate in a regular company.

But you do need to replicate it.  The question is how.

Too often, the failures start to look bad for the IT tech.  But it’s possible the IT tech is doing all the same things that made them successful all along.

This week we’re going to look at who is there to support the IT tech.  We’ll look at the systems and procedures that keep things operating smoothly.  And we’ll look at the leadership side of things.  Do you have a CIO or a low-level tech or maybe both.

I’m Carter Edmonds with 20CREEK.  We help you build IT you’ll brag about.

Episode #45 – 2/11/2019