You may recognize that title as a quote from the character Hudson in the movie “Aliens,” but it is not scary, face-hugging aliens that we’re discussing in this blog. This quote is an ideal lead in to discuss resources available for the information technology needs of a small- to medium-sized business(SMB).
Managing the information technology infrastructure in a SMB is challenging, rewarding and often akin to herding cats. It is a jumble of network administration, development, desktop support, training, project management and planning.
Companies of this size typically have a small IT staff, requiring a mix of general skills with specific areas of focus. The key to a successful technology strategy is to make effective use of a variety of internal and external resources.
Many such resources are widely available, such as consultants that bring highly specialized knowledge and experience for various needs or vendors, who typically have knowledge and best-practices focused around products or services that they are selling. The difficulty with these options lies in the selection and deployment of the right fit for the project.
There are a variety of less-utilized options, however, such as social networking sites, local “user groups” (technology specific club-like organizations) and even surprising assets already within your office walls.
What sparked the idea for this blog was a contractor who was in our office preparing to interview with a client for a position requiring senior-level network storage and backup skills. In the course of the conversation, he was asked a question about a storage need our company is currently struggling with and he immediately offered to help!
After a successful interview with the client, he returned to our office and gave a 30 minute overview on the subject, including suggesting and diagramming several viable options for our company. He provided us with a significantly better degree of understanding of the challenges and possible solutions to our network storage issue. And he did it for free.
While this encounter certainly proved to be serendipitous, recognizing and utilizing ALL of the potential technology assets available to a SMB can lead to a more reliable, sophisticated, well-designed and maintained IT structure without excessive spending and opportunity costs. Think outside the box when it comes to any project or requirement that is outside your IT staff’s existing skill set can yield surprising and positive results.
The InSource Group