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4 Considerations Before Downsizing Your IT Department

4 Considerations Before Downsizing Your IT Department

Many folks think that stream-lining the IT department leads to a more efficient and productive support team. By downsizing, you are eliminating players that aren’t cutting your standards and only keeping ones that can efficiently get the job done.

But recent studies show that downsizing departments like IT, if not done right, can hurt your business.  Current research suggests that downsizing might not be a good strategic move when it comes to becoming more efficient—especially in times of economic uncertainty. In fact, data from the past decade underscores that companies looking to downsize their workplaces end up more than twice as likely to go out of business (and that’s after standardizing for industry, size of a firm, prior performance, profitability, trajectory towards bankruptcy—basically any common indicator that a company may not be doing so well).

Historically, many business strategists have believed downsizing being quite effective at increasing individual performance and sales, but many recent critics of the practice underscore wide-reaching negative consequences—ranging from decreased customer experience and employee morale to decreased overall productivity—when businesses downsize improperly.

Recent studies reveal that downsizing companies lose valuable knowledge when employees are eliminated, because of increased workloads on remaining team members. The authors were surprised to find that intangible resources—innovation, knowledge and strategy—were all factors lost during downsizing events, each of which were determined critical components to a healthy business.

The take home from the study: downsizing departments drastically impacts department productivity, engagement and loyalty, all indicators of a failing company.

The take home for your IT Department: since your IT department, and consequently your IT help desk, is the backbone of your business operations, downsizing IT staff can lead to drastically unexpected inefficiency.

The hard truth is that maintaining an enterprise-level IT department is expensive. And retaining and developing your IT staff to grow with your business is critical to compete in the modern marketplace.

What should you do if you’re interested in downsizing your IT?

Identify critical knowledge workers—knowing who possesses critical knowledge to keep your network running safe and securely is essential to keeping your business safe and operational. Critical knowledge may be held by a few to many staff, depending on needs for IT specialization.

Identify crucial roles to innovation— with growing competition and narrowing market share, your business needs innovation in how it leverages its technology to stay efficient, competitive and relevant in the modern economy.

Determine how to incentivize and retain critical workers— while downsizing inherently means eliminating staff, you likely need to retain critical workers picking up the slack. But with more work and likely concerns about job security, will these critical workers abandon ship?

Learn how to balance efficiency with potential—though you may (at one point or another) be thinking about how to downsize your staff to make your business more profitable, you nevertheless need to be always thinking about your business potential. Having experienced and dedicated business IT professionals that can use IT to meet your quarterly and annual business goals.

An Easy Alternative: Consider Outsourcing Your IT, ESPECIALLY Your IT Help Desk

Outsourcing your entire IT department may not be possible, but an easy first step is to outsource all of the jobs that most IT Departments dread: IT help desk (answering user questions and trouble-shooting user issues 24/7/365 or whenever your users need help).

Outsourcing your IT help desk responsibilities will:

Retain body of knowledge to easily support users— an outsourced IT solution can alleviate the need for knowledge keepers because knowledge of your critical systems is retained by experts well-versed in ALL aspects of your technology. Since ZogDesk documents solution pathways to problems, your users will usually (>99% of the time) resolve their issues within the first call.

Provide consistent escalation pathways when needed— with a deep understanding of help desk operations, an outsourced IT help desk knows when a problem requires help from your internal IT department or from more senior technicians.

Ensure consistent well-trained and diverse to accommodate your IT needs— Incentivizing key staff with compensation and development can be challenging and time-consuming if not done well. Outsourcing fundamental roles of network maintenance and support can eliminate your risk of losing key players that may be re-evaluating their options. Managed IT business and help desk services companies are experienced in hiring and retaining the best IT professionals in the industry.

By outsourcing the help desk component of your business, you will free up time for your more sophisticated techs to invest in thought and implementation of better and more efficient ways to utilize your organization’s technology.

Guarantee support as your organization grows— a good IT help desk is constantly recruiting and developing promising technicians. As your business demands grow, they should be able to

Have you considered downsizing your IT department or have no idea how to hire, recruit or maintain a help desk team? Contact Us TODAY for a FREE help desk assessment to provide you with a much needed roadmap.

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