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Is IT a full time job in a mid-size business?

By miket ·
I currently work in a mid size buisness with no full time IT. They have a windows network with 40 workstations, 3 servers, and an advanced ERP. There are also around 30 computers attached to CNC machines but not the network The company is growing and expanding and they want to improve their technology, add a VOIP phone system, and possibly an Exchange Server.

I have been helping them with IT for over a year now and I am the only person with "technical" knowledge. They do have an "IT Manager" but he can't even map a network harddrive.

They keep telling me that "IT is not a full time job" and "Once it is set up it all runs itself and IT would have nothing to do". What would you do in this situation? Please let me know if you have ideas on how to convince them that they need IT staff / or if you think it is a lost cause.

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Well of course

by Kenone In reply to Is IT a full time job in ...

it will run itself. Just keep billing them for your time and keep quiet. At some point some bean counter will ask why they're shelling out all that money and you'll be looking for a new gig.
As long as you keep everything functioning you'll never be able to convince them.

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What's your goal?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Is IT a full time job in ...

Are you trying to secure an IT position with this firm? If so, I'd get my resume together and start looking elsewhere.

Are you trying to be sure the firm has sufficient IT support? Upper management apparently thinks by utilizing you that they have that covered. I'd ask at my next review that I get paid extra for IT duties outside the scope of my normal job.

Are you trying to remove yourself from your IT responsibilities? "Sorry, boss, but I don't know anything about VOIP or Exchange."

You may want to resubmit this as a Discussion.

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Sounds short-sighted

by Churdoo In reply to Is IT a full time job in ...

To answer your title question, the answer is "Maybe," as it depends on other things that you mention like the ERP system, other LOB applications, etc.

A simple <50 node network by itself is not a full time job, but then depending on the upkeep required by the ERP system, CNC machines, job tracking, job costing, accounting, any other line-of-business applications, technology goals of the company, the need grows tremendously.

IT does NOT run itself! Once set up, IF set up correctly, then yes one aspect of IT workload MAY decrease, however a forward-thinking company can shift that IT time to embark on other Continuous Improvement projects which will continue to improve the business and the bottom line through its use of technology.

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Added Value

by btdecarlo In reply to Is IT a full time job in ...

I agree IT must provided "add Value" to the company. IT in accounting lay-person terms in a non tech industry is considered a red mark on the ledger sheet. It is our IT pro to change this to a shade of gray; the darker the better for you. The balance is you must keep up with the current technology and skills. They expect you to jump buildings in a single bound. If you can not and especially if you are a hired gun, you better learn fast, learn to project plan and manage, and communicate well with the non-IT folks.

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I'm with btdecarlo, IT in most SMB businesses is red ink

by CG IT In reply to Added Value

the less of it, the better. Companies don't hire a full time employee to fix copiers or printers and that's exactly what mose executives view IT. A piece of equipment that they don't or shouldn't have to hire a full time employee to run.

That's why you see all the discussions about making IT this value added "thing". Jason Hiner has created tons of articles where the IT departments of companies "sell their services to other business units" to justify their jobs. Cloud computing makes an IT deparment even more precarious.

If I were you, I'd see if you could do another job there, and be their IT go to guy when the system fails. While not employeed as the IT guy,and they aren't paying for an IT guy, your the IT guy.

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