In today’s world, companies are dependent on technology to perform the daily functions that allow us to run our business and employees to do their jobs. Even more so, we rely on the resources that support and maintain our technology to ensure systems, applications, and data remains available, secure, and functions properly. We count on highly trained staff, who posses specialized knowledge and capabilities. IT departments need to be readily available, nimble, and responsive to keep businesses functioning. So what do we do if these resources are leaving? Below are three actions to take when losing a key IT resource.
- Know your options – There are many options when it comes to supporting IT within your company. Just because a resource is leaving your company, it doesn’t always mean a replacement is necessary. Think through the following questions when developing options for the next steps.
- Was this resource being fully utilized? Many times if employees do not have enough work, they look elsewhere for employment. Understand if the job role was truly necessary. Can responsibilities be transferred to other resources within your company to eliminate the need for a replacement?
- Is a vendor or partner available? In many markets, there is a plethora of technology vendors and managed service providers that can provide the same, if not better services, for sometimes a fraction of the cost. Know the companies available and seek pricing options for the support needed.
- Could the technology be moved? With hosting being a hot topic, moving the technology to a solution that requires less IT support and maintenance within your company may provide value. This could eliminate the need for the IT resource, and the costs could be transferred to supporting the hosting expense.
- Create a plan – Is the IT resource leaving your company on their own accord, or is it a forced exit? Are you getting 2 weeks’ notice, or did the person win the lottery and leave immediately? In any situation, ensure you have a plan in place. This can be developed immediately, even before you have any knowledge of a resource leaving. You’ll want to ensure documentation and knowledge for when a transfer occurs, so ask your current resource what’s in place. If you have another IT option lined up, plan for cross training opportunities to reduce risks of knowledge loss. Proper planning can reduce the risk of systems downtime, as well as loss of data and capital knowledge.
- Secure the fort! – In many cases, our IT resources hold the key to our technology. They have access to systems and data that no one else in the company does. Ideally you’re auditing all access, but this doesn’t always happen. Depending on your IT structure, it may be necessary to look to outside support to ensure access can be blocked. Creating a checklist can be helpful as well. This can assist in the separation process, ensuring nothing gets missed.
In conclusion, an IT resource leaving your company is not the end the world. By understanding your options, developing the proper plan, and maintaining security, it can be easily manageable. And for those areas where you may require additional assistance, RSM is available to assist you. From documentation and policy development, to hosting and security review, we have the resources to support your technology needs.