It would be nice if the IT Department could handle all of the major processing, storage and application requirements for your business… you know, things like:
Data storage/data integrity
Database design/database management
Algorithmic problem solving – for complex data
Network support – to keep you online
Manage naming conventions, and making naming consistent among divisions
Software customization and development
Communication – with employees and leadership
(For more background, read our article from last week, “Keep IT healthy by monitoring these 8 vital signs.”
Doesn’t sound like a lot to ask, right? Well, if you ask small business owners how their job descriptions are faring on Monster.com, etc., they will tell you these qualities are much more expensive than they initially thought.
Estimating In-House IT Workforce Cost
IT Managers have a bachelor’s degree and 5 years of experience putting their knowledge to the test in a business environment. Under ideal conditions, a Manager-in-training will gain exposure to all of the first three requirements, but the more abstract skills will probably take more time to develop, even in the super-talented.
The median salary for IT Managers is $110k, according to Salary.com. The vast majority (90%) of these professionals earn at least $83K. At this salary range, they will be reporting to leadership for the first time.
Increasing the talent level shifts the position from the Manager Level to Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Their median salary is $155K, and by the way, enterprises still complain about their CTO’s lack of communication skills and real business acumen… all the time. (Read Entrepreneur’s article about building your own management team for more info.)
“Getting Real” with IT Talent
Bottom line: SMBs don’t have the resources to attract all the IT talent they need; they aren’t prestigious enough, and they don’t have the money. Managing their IT expenditures properly will require a mixture of on-premise and outsourcing measures.
It’s critically important for every business’ stability (and competitiveness) to have IT resources at the company’s fingertips. Always. That isn’t impossible; it just takes keen strategy.