Creating a formal in-house IT department is a reality that all growing businesses have to confront in the digital age. Technology services and computer systems are now intertwined with how modern firms operate and a solid and functioning IT base must be established to enable your business to prosper. Fortunately, building a tech team can be accomplished with relative ease if you approach it in a similar manner to other business planning decisions. Defining the problem, allocating resources, selecting software and hardware, hiring staff and creating a new culture centred on IT are the five basic steps for building an effective, bespoke team suited to your needs.
The majority of your IT operations are likely to be performed by a single knowledgeable employee when you start out as a micro business but the demands of a growing enterprise will require you to invest in a dedicated team. This is because you will become more reliant on databases, servers, cloud systems, communications and online tools such as corporate websites and apps that require attention on a daily basis. The digital landscape is in constant flux so you need to be able to anticipate changes in demand that may require you to scale certain IT functions. Establishing an in house team is often the best means to securing these digital foundations.
Begin by outlining what you want to achieve from your new IT endeavours, it may be to mine big data for useful insights, create a web store for additional sales, improve security, build scalable customer support or a combination of all these factors. When you have defined the problem, the next step is to allocate the appropriate resources. Think about projected labour requirements, the physical space required and the digital infrastructure you need to support the new department, plus its operating costs.
You will now need to source staff to fill IT positions, which can be tricky due to ongoing shortages of qualified and experienced professionals in the UK. It may be best to begin by re-recruiting your existing staff for tech positions. Promoting those from within the company is great for morale and it will enable you to hire quickly. You can also use recruitment agencies such as Montash, that specialise in, to hire the employees you need. These agencies have a greater knowledge of the market, an extended reach through networks and a roster of suitable candidates with key strategic skills that can benefit your IT team. Smart companies in the current climate are looking more closely at the skills available and how they can be moulded and applied to their particular needs.
Finding the right combination of people is important for long-term success. When you have established an in house team, make sure to involve them in key strategic decisions. Firms that encourage management and IT to work together perform better as everyone is aligned to the same goals and objectives and everyone feels involved. Building an in house IT department can transform every aspect of your business so don’t feel overwhelmed by the size of the project. Once your team is operational, you can look towards additional strategies to secure the best IT candidates to support your growing business.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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