I.T. Staff Size Issues

By chrisflusche ·
I am the I.T. Manager (and the ONLY person in the "I.T Department) for a transportation and logistics company that is growing very rapidly. When I first started working for this company two years ago, there were 10 users and 1 location. They needed 8am-5pm Mon-Fri systems availability. There were 10 workstations and 1 "server".

Fast forward to today. There are over 80 users and 5 locations scattered across the US. A sixth location and an additional 10 users will be added within 6 months. We have 6 servers, over 80 workstations, numerous laptops & PDAs, and numberous network printers. The company now requires 24x7x365 systems availability. I am still the only I.T. person in the entire company. When I tell management that I need help, they put me on the back burner. If systems aren't available when they need to be, or if I need to be in two places at once and obviously can't be, I get threatened with termination. I am very good at my job, with over 13 years of experience in I.T. However, I can't keep up with the company's growth anymore and I have to figure out how to get management to understand that we need additional I.T. staff.

My questions are these: How many I.T. staff should we have, what positions, and how do I convince management of this? Call volume is fairly high during the day, but extremely minimal at night. I don't think I can justify having someone work evenings or nights due to this, but it would be nice to have someone on call other than me sometimes. I can't even use my vacation and sick time! Help!

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Like Everything, It All Depends

by rkuhn0401729 In reply to I.T. Staff Size Issues

I work for a local home builder. We have 25 locations (grant it all in the same city) and about 100 employees.

I'm too am the sole IT member. I manage it all...from servers to PC's to the network to handhelds (Palms) to cell phones to the phone system to two websites and a vendor portal as well as an intranet to...well, you get the picture.

The key for me are actually a few things.

1) Got to be organized
2) Got to have remote access to everything. Remote from home, remote from phone, remote from laptop, etc.
3) Got to have several reliable consultants. I have two. One, to help in areas where you don't have expertise and one to help as "overflow".
4) Can't be cheap on hardware/software. If a company wants to skimp on labor, they must pay for it somewhere else. No crappy, off brand equipment and must have excellent, brand name management tools.

We're Cisco/Microsoft everything. And I use Veritas for backups as well as Symantec AV.

I personally believe that after initial setup, most of our hardware/software if done right runs itself.

For example, WSUS for patching, Veritas for backups, Symantec AV with Mgmt Console server, Barracuda spam firewall, etc.

Also, be proactive and setup alerts for when things do go down. SMS alerts work well on phones.

Lastly, we purchase most equipment/software through a third party (who also happens to be the company one of our consultants comes from). In return for slightly higher prices, I get them managing my subscriptions, licensing, etc. They alert me when things need attention, after all, I have more pressing and important things to do than track licenses.

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Depends on how much you like the job I suppose

by OH Smeg In reply to I.T. Staff Size Issues

I always found that quitting was an excellent reason to get staff but that's just me and you shouldn't do this unless you are prepared to walk immediately.

As for IT Staff numbers the real answer is As Few As Possible at least that is how management sees things as to them IT is a cost that they do not need to increase not a cost saving so they do with as little as possible and still get the job done.

If I was personally threatened with the sack for not doing my job under those conditions I would have been out the door before the words finished leaving the guy's mouth and on Holiday I need one as I haven't had a holiday in over 40 years now and I've always found the mear fact of me telling the Boss where to get off and walking has some interesting side effects.


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