CHAPTER 4: What to do if critical IT and Technical staff leave your business
What would you do if a key IT team member suddenly left your business or was long-term sick?
LosIng IT staff can cost a lot in time and money as a new team member is recruited and trained. But how else could your business be negatively impacted?
In this chapter, we explore the challenges that can occur when an IT staff member leaves your business and provide insights into how to resolve these challenges effectively.
We share how to ensure your business always has access to IT Support and a range of specialist IT expertise, even if you already have an in-house IT team.
- Why are IT professionals such an essential part of any business?
- What are the challenges when an IT Technician leaves your company?
- How to protect your business when IT staff leave
- How outsourced IT Support can reinforce your business
- What is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)?
- What are the benefits of IaaS?
- The benefits of IaaS for organisations without IT Staff
- IT Technician Turnover – A Case Study
Recruitment and retention of suitable employees is essential for businesses in all sectors. In the UK people switch their job an average of every 4 years, meaning your business is never too far away from the need to recruit to replace a staff leaver.
The IT infrastructure is critical to all types of businesses, without our computers, servers and files, we simply could not operate. And when a specialist IT employee leaves your business, the impact can be considerable.
Whether it’s staff shortage, losing access to important data due to improper handovers, or the risk of malicious activity from an ex-employee, your organisation needs to ensure that a strong plan is in place for when a critical IT staff member leaves your team.
Why are IT professionals such an essential part of any business?
IT employees are a critical part of any business, the skills and expertise they provide support day-to-day operations. Information Technology is a specialist sector in which technicians invest time in continuous learning to keep ahead of the latest technologies, developments and updates. IT technicians will resolve IT issues when things go wrong – implementing the proper fixes and solutions, carrying out preventative maintenance and managing IT Security.
IT staff are in high demand, so if a member of your IT team decides to leave (or worse, your sole IT Manager goes), it can be time-consuming and expensive to recruit and train a replacement. This can be a challenging time for any business as you contend with a period with a reduced (or no) IT resource.
What are the challenges when an IT Technician leaves the business?
The departure of an IT staff member can pose significant challenges – and risks for any business. The absence of a skilled IT professional can have far-reaching implications, from potential security vulnerabilities to knowledge gaps and decreased productivity.
1. Security Vulnerabilities
One of the key concerns when an IT staff member leaves, is the risk of security vulnerabilities. IT professionals are typically responsible for implementing and managing various security measures, including firewalls, access controls, updates and encryption.
Without that expertise, there is an increased risk of unauthorised access, data breaches, and potential loss of sensitive information. It’s best practice to ensure your business has backup IT Support in place. Back up to an outsourced IT Support provider ensures easy access to expertise plus peace of mind for all types of business, from those with an IT Department in place, to companies with just one IT professional employed.
2. Knowledge & Skills Gap
Each IT staff member brings unique skills and knowledge to the table. When a key IT employee leaves, there is a risk of losing the critical expertise required for managing specific systems, applications, or infrastructure. This knowledge gap can hamper day-to-day operations, hinder problem resolution and impact the overall productivity of IT and other departments.
To reduce this risk, establish comprehensive documentation and knowledge sharing practices, encourage cross-training among team members, and invest in ongoing professional development. Partnering with an outsourced IT specialist can also help plug any gaps in your resilience while recruiting a new staff member.
3. Disruption to Projects & Timelines
IT staff members often play a crucial role in driving and supporting various projects within a business. When an IT professional departs unexpectedly, ongoing projects may suffer delays or even come to a standstill. The loss of a team member can disrupt workflows, leading to missed deadlines – possibly resulting in a negative impact on your clients.
Mitigate this risk by promptly reassigning responsibilities, evaluating project timelines, and considering temporary staffing solutions if necessary. An IT Support provider can also help manage the workload while your IT recruitment progresses.
4. Malicious attacks
If IT staff leave on less than friendly terms, in some cases this can also cause problems to your business, depending on the levels of access they have to your sensitive information. For example, they could steal sensitive data, withhold information and, in more severe cases could undertake malicious activity against your business.
If you work with a cyber security specialist, they can remotely monitor your IT infrastructure to protect you from these risks proactively.
How to protect your business when IT staff leave
There are measures your business should implement to ensure you’re taking all steps to mitigate risk when a member of your IT team leaves. Some of these are simpler such as contingency planning and knowledge sharing – but what else can your business do to cover essential daily IT management in the meantime? That’s where outsourced IT Support and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can plug the gaps.
How outsourced IT Support can reinforce your business
With the right monthly IT Support package, your business can benefit from:
- Simplicity and security – while the experts keep your IT systems safe, your team can focus on your customers and business growth
- Saved time and expense spent on hiring and training internal IT employees
- Gain the advantage over your competitors with increased technical expertise
- IT Support always available – no need to worry about internal holidays and absences
- Unlimited support requests and 24/7 network monitoring
- Better budgeting with predictable monthly payments
What is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a model of cloud computing in which the cloud provider hosts aspects of an organisation’s infrastructure – such as servers, networking hardware and data storage that would typically be hosted on an on-site data centre.
What are the benefits of IaaS?
With an IaaS offering, all your IT capacity can be set up and managed safely off site, which means that your outsourced IT provider also has full control. Therefore, if any loss of access arises, your trusted partner can log on and manage your network on your behalf.
As a cloud-based solution, IaaS can be much more cost effective when compared to purchasing and maintaining your IT servers on site.
In all cases of an emergency, including malicious activity by ex-staff members, an effective IaaS solution should always include a Disaster Recovery Plan. We can help devise a DR plan for your business, working with you to identify the existing risks.
The benefits of IaaS for organisations without IT Staff
If your business is an SME without a dedicated IT resource and yet to set up your IT infrastructure, IaaS is still relevant and should definitely be considered. Hardware like servers can be very expensive and require ongoing maintenance. Implementing a cloud-based IT infrastructure solution is by far the more cost-effective, cyber-secure, reliable and future-proof option.
We recently implemented Infrastructure as a Service for national construction supplies company, Tudor Griffiths Group. Their IT Manager was dealing staff turnover issues – IT Engineers joining the company and going through training before moving on. Left with managing IT support issues across 40 locations whilst recruiting and training again was monopolising IT resource time, so they needed a plan to allow more focus on specialist IT projects.
We were able to help Tudor Griffiths Group implement IaaS services along with providing IT Support help desk services, taking over responsibility for day-to-day employee IT requests – such as Office 365 setup and management, as well as 1st, 2nd and 3rd line IT support.
With IT Support now outsourced, Tudor Griffiths removed the ongoing IT Technician recruitment and training resource costs and freed up much needed time to allow focus on large IT projects.
The departure of an IT staff member introduces several challenges and risks that can impact your business’ security, productivity, and overall functioning. By proactively addressing these risks in advance through resource planning, robust security measures, knowledge sharing and team support, you can minimise or even avoid the potential disruptions caused by the departure of an IT professional.
Remember, if you’re concerned about how well your business is prepared should a critical IT staff member leave, our expert team is always on hand to discuss your specific IT resource needs and available options.