The Importance of Experienced I.T. Staff

Latest Blog Post from the F36 Lounge

Recent events in our banking sector should highlight to all business leaders the importance of hiring knowledgeable I.T. staff to manage and maintain their important systems, yet all too often these invaluable lessons are learned the hard way by SME’s all over the UK.

Quite often we meet small and medium sized businesses that have an on-site I.T. manager, not your usual hired for the purpose I.T. manager, but the one whose job role has evolved over time to assume I.T. responsibilities because they showed tenacity and skill at devising Powerpoint presentations or complex Excel calculations and somehow these skills automatically translate to managing an organisations core I.T. function, maintaining mailservers and managing fault resolution for users.

If only these businesses took the time to look at the damage and potential exposure to risk they were taking on through this kind of HR deployment.

Not only can driving partially competent staff into these roles affect moral when tricky issues occur but a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing when it comes to protecting an organisations core communications and business management capability.

It’s all very well to assume that managing a server is just a case of running a few Microsoft updates now and again and checking that the anti-virus software is up to date, but what happens when that update goes wrong? Take a look at the following kinds challenges that we’ve seen the office Excel wizard face.

  • Server Patch Pre-Requisite updates required, an early hurdle for the inexperienced.
  • Exchange Mailstore can’t start, no hard disk available, Moving a mailstore is enough to make a seasoned I.T. professional groan.
  • Exchange compromised due to being configured as an open relay, a big no, no on the internet courtesy of a “I got it working” approach.
  • Spam servers are blocking email we’re sending clients, because installing the server is only the first step for an on-site mailserver.

At first it can seem as though an organisation is saving money by using in-house knowledge to keep on-top of the I.T. requirement. But without the daily knowledge and industry insight of a professional I.T. organisation often important information and experience bypasses the people in your team that need it.

More importantly, how much billable or working time is lost in your organisation because your employee is scratching his or her head over a relatively simple but totally new to them I.T. matter? How much better would your working environment be if your staff were on task and I.T. issues were monitored and dealt with swiftly by people who can say “oh sure, we’ve seen that one before, just do this, this and this” or, even better, “We spotted an issue on your network earlier, we resolved it before it impacted your users”.

Choosing the right I.T. company to work with can be a daunting task, but a bit like when you took the decision to hire staff in your business, it’s all about finding the ones that add value through reducing downtime, making your business more productive, flexible and resiliant against interruption or change.

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