My IT Company is Understaffed (Part 1)

My IT Company is Understaffed (Part 1)

Any IT frustration that you are feeling can always be traced back to this, your IT company is understaffed

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • I’m tired of seeing the same issues.
  • We have new employees starting, but their computers aren’t ready.
  • My IT company told me over the phone to reboot the server.
  • Our staff doesn’t like to call them for help because there is no follow through.
  • They were great for the first six months of our relationship. But now…

If this sounds familiar, there is only one reason. Your IT company is understaffed.

As IT professionals, we often employ root cause analysis. Now that we have identified the root cause, let's see what an understaffed IT company looks like from the inside.

Here are five things that go on behind the scenes of an understaffed IT company.

Proactive maintenance is an afterthought

Sure, the word "proactive" has become the mantra of outsourced IT companies everywhere. There are some amazing products that allow IT companies to keep a close eye on the health of their clients' systems. But, having these tools alone does not make an IT company proactive. Responding to an alert is reactive. Being proactive requires people. People that are dedicated to system management and maintenance, and not being pulled away for reactive services.

The day is spent fighting fires

When personnel limitations force an IT company to ignore proactive maintenance, problems start to arise. Some are small and start early. Some take 3-6 months and are catastrophic. With 100s or even 1,000s of unmaintained endpoints to support, an understaffed IT company will spend most of the day responding to client emergencies and putting out fires. As a result, resources are pulled off of projects and assignments for one client, and sent to address an emergency for another client. This means, customers are supported on a triage basis and the cycle repeats.

Work is left unfinished or sloppy

With so many clients in the queue, doing things fast becomes more important than doing things right. As a result, the time and effort required to find long term solutions is not available to an understaffed IT company. Workarounds and quick fixes are key to keeping up with a growing list of reactive support calls from frustrated clients. Projects are left unfinished and documentation is left out entirely.

Their clients are dependent on one or two people

Because they are overworked, little details are neglected and processes are not followed. There is little to no documentation on their client's systems. This means, the work performed by one employee cannot be followed by another.  Often a technical resource is assigned to a specific client account. This one resource is responsible for all support efforts for that particular client. Therefore, If they are not available, then the client is forced to wait.

Turnover is high, morale is low

Working at an understaffed IT company means constant high stress. 12-hour days and weekends spent working is common. Their technical resources are on the front lines and have to help manage their customers' frustrations. There is a lot of finger pointing back at the office, because mistakes are common and co-workers are stressed. When they ask for more manpower, management tells them "no," then brings on yet another client. When an employee resigns he takes away customer knowledge that only exists in his head. Again, the cycle repeats.

In part 2 of this series we will examine what an understaffed IT company looks like from the client perspective.

The unfortunate reality of the IT industry is that companies have come to accept disappointing IT services from outsourced partners. It doesn't have to be this way. The cycle can be broken. If anything mentioned above sounds familiar, it's time for a new managed services provider.

Bellwether is an award-winning managed services provider that offers superior IT solutions to clients across the Gulf South. Whether you need full support or just want to enhance your own IT team, Bellwether will deliver.