IT departments are typically as unique as the business they are a part of. In the constant struggle of daily responsibilities, a well-run IT department is key to alleviating unnecessary stress, efficiently using time, and ensuring cyber security.
While every IT Department is unique, there are core roles that make up a well-run IT department to ensure your business is running well and securely.
Who needs an IT Department (and what is it?)
Information Technology (IT) is crucial to every aspect of a modern business, meaning your IT Department is ultimately responsible for staff efficiency and protecting your data from global hackers. That being said, every businesses’ IT needs are different, thus every IT Department is unique. Some IT departments are all internal, some are external, and some have a hybrid co-managed IT Department. Regardless of how, it is critical that a business’ IT is properly managed.
Similar to other industries, IT Departments also have generalists and specialists. When building your own IT department, there are usually the following roles:
- Chief Information Officer(CIO)/Chief Technology Officer (CTO): A CIO/CTO is typically in charge of the entire technology department. At smaller organizations, they may be hands-on, solving technical issues. At larger organizations, they typically focus on larger strategy and implementations. Regardless of daily responsibilities, A CIO/CTO’s focus should be on driving the technology of the organization forward to improve daily workflows and efficiency.
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO): Like with a CIO/CTO, this person is in charge of technology, but with a focus on cybersecurity and risk management. They work with the CIO/CTO to focus on the ongoing security of the origination. Not all organizations can afford a CISO, thus it is critical that the CIO/CTO fills this role.
- VP of Technology: A VP of Technology can be in lieu of a CIO/CTO at a smaller organization, or can be the primary manager of the IT department. The focus of the VP of Technology is typically on day-to-day usability and ensuring the IT department is operating efficiently.
- Help Desk: A Help Desk is made up of many different roles and responsibilities. The size of the help desk can depend on the complexity of the technologies and software at a business, as well as the size. In a typical Help Desk, there are different tiers of technicians, typically ranging from Level 1 (Entry) to Level 3 (Advanced), and sometimes to Level 4 (Senior Administrator). Most of these individuals will work directly with staff to assist with IT issues.
- Network Operation Center (NOC): A NOC is typically the backbone for a company’s proactive monitoring/management. This team (or individual) is typically responsible for the back-end IT infrastructure, ensuring it is updated, running well, and secure.
- Application Developer: Not all organizations have or need an application developer. That being said, they are crucial to some IT departments that rely on complex business-intelligence, custom applications, and complex workflows.
- Systems Admin: Typically a part of the NOC or Help Desk, these individuals are the quarterback in an IT Department. Their success means systems are running well and the IT Department is trusted.
Tools – The eyes of the IT Department:
While the team that makes up your IT department is crucial, so are the tools they use. An Internal IT Department needs to implement and manage many tools. Some tools include Remote Monitoring & Maintenance (RMM), Mobile Device Management (MDM), and a ticketing system. There are many other tools needed in an IT Department for infrastructure management, application monitoring, and critically, cybersecurity. The NOC within the IT Department is typically charged with sourcing, purchasing, managing licenses, and ensuring these tools are properly implemented.
Why Internalize or Outsource your IT Department?
There are both cost and operational reasons to keep an internal IT Department or outsource your IT Department. For smaller organizations, it is very hard to build an IT Department that does not rely on a handful (or a single) individuals, creating potential risk if they leave. In larger organizations, it is much more realistic to build-out a full-stack IT Department.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs):
Should your organization need the skill set of a full IT department, but is having trouble hiring or is budget constrained, Managed Service Providers, such as Microtime, are a solution. Managed Service Providers have skilled staff to build your IT Department with the necessary skills for success.
Co-Managed IT Department – Managed Services + Internal IT
Additionally, some organizations decide to work with a managed service provider in a co-managed relationship. In a co-managed relationship, the internal IT department is responsible for some roles (such as technology strategy or application development), where the outsourced IT Department (the MSP) does the remaining.
If you are exploring how to build the best IT department is for your business, give Microtime a call. Our team will assess and recommend the best IT department for your organization, whether it’s internal, external, or co-managed.