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Have you been burnt or burned by IT?

Managed Services

Getting Burned by IT?

Is it Burned or Burnt?

You might be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with technology and IT strategy?”

Getting burned by IT

Well, hang with me for a moment and I will explain.
To answer this “burning” question, let’s go straight to Merriam-Webster and see what they have to say.
Both burned and burnt are acceptable forms of burn. Both words can be used as adjectives, such as “burnt toast” or “burned toast,” and both are acceptable as the past tense, although “burned” is more common in American English. You might find that you have your own preference, but both forms of the word are acceptable.

The same is true regarding your big-picture strategy of hiring internally for IT, or outsourcing your needs to an MSP – a Managed Service Provider. Either scenario can offer you a good outcome, but it really depends on your preferences and your goals, as well as the philosophy and skills of your chosen IT professional(s). Utilizing an MSP is becoming more and more common in the business world.

Why is this? There are many reasons.
  • With a Managed Service Provider you are not putting all of your IT eggs in one basket, so-to-speak.
  • Your IT network and infrastructure should be well documented, ensuring your important information is tracked, securely accessible by others if/when needed, and not dependent on one person’s knowledge of your network and systems.
  • You also have a team of people to assist with various skills and abilities – offering you well-rounded solutions.
  • There are no PTO days or sick days, offering you more stable, ongoing support than relying on the availability of an individual.
  • In addition, an MSP typically wants to take steps proactively to help you avoid issues – in order to better utilize the time of their tech team.
    • MSP’s are incentivized by being needed less reactively – due to your network running more smoothly.
    • Conversely an internal hire may feel that their job is more secure when they are NEEDED more – when they have more issues to fix.
    • The internal hire incentive may be a bit different than an MSP. Although not always the case – this is something that deserves consideration.


What are the benefits of hiring internally?

  • The primary benefit is that this person or team is dedicated only to you and your end-users.
  • They are able to focus all of their time and attention on your network and your needs.
  • Most organizations do not require full-time internal IT.

Managed Service Provider skills and efficiency

  • Due to TechStar IT’s systems, tools and processes that are scaled across several organizations, we can do the work of a full-time employee (or several internal employees) and often in a more fiscally responsible way.
  • TechStar can more easily adapt to your changing needs without you having to figure out when/who to hire as you grow.
  • We must admit that an internal hire might bring doughnuts to the breakroom. That’s harder for us to do, as 95% of our efforts are remote.

Internal hire vs MSP

Some strategies that will reduce your chance of getting burned… (or burnt)!

  • Focus on proactive IT – where attention is given to the activities and behind-the-scenes efforts that will reduce hiccups for your network and for your team.
  • Ensure you have a good backup plan if your internal team should need time away. Ensure that your IT professional is fully documenting your network so that if adjustments need to be made or if your users need support, your backup will be able to help with more efficiency.
  • What is the internal or outsourced providers approach?
    • How do they provide proactive solutions?
    • What is their communication style?
    • What is their strategy for better cybersecurity?
    • Do they have testimonials and/or clients that you are able to speak with?
  • Don’t rely only on certificates/degrees. Some of the best and most proficient professionals in IT learned on the job – as technology evolves quickly. What was taught in school even 5 years ago might be very different from real-life application today. Conversely, there are many people working in IT who earned a certificate because they thought it would be a wise career path – not necessarily because it is their passion. Pay more attention to their natural skills and interests, their motivation for getting into the IT world, what areas of IT they feel most skilled, what areas of IT are they less familiar with, etc.
  • Ensure a good fit regarding your hire (whether that be an individual or an MSP) and your preferences.
    • Do you prefer to give direction and have your IT pro(s) make it happen?
    • Or do you prefer to trust your IT professional(s) to make those necessary IT decisions?
    • Perhaps you prefer a blended approach where you offer input and you make decisions together. Regardless of your preference, it important to ensure your philosophies are in alignment.
    • Do they seem to be interested in your company’s goals and where you see yourselves going?
    • Are they asking a lot of questions about your business – or are they simply regurgitating their resume? A curious IT professional indicates that they want to understand you – enabling them to better come alongside you and enhance your vision through the use of technology.
Regardless of the method of IT management that you choose, it’s important to take your time to ensure you are making a wise decision. Having a strong network, properly working technology and access to wise and competent technology consulting gives your business a tremendous advantage. Making a poor decision could hinder your efforts and slow your progress.

Follow these steps to reduce your chances of getting burned! (Or burnt)

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