June 16, 2021 Managed IT Services

Is your technology stuck? Three ways a Fractional IT Director can help you level up

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It’s a classic case of growing pains: your small or medium-sized business is growing by leaps and bounds, which is great, but the backlog of tech needs is piling up.

“Most of the time when SUCCESS is introduced to an organization, it’s because there’s some big problem, or some burning need, and we’re there to snuff it out,” says Jamie Wolbeck, SUCCESS’s vice president for technical operations. 

“Most organizations get this idea in their head that ‘I need an IT director!’ and that’s their first hire,” he says. But a cautionary note: “In most situations, that’s not the right first IT hire.”

Instead, whether you’re looking to hire for your first-ever internal IT position or augment the needs of an existing IT team, SUCCESS’s goal is to take you from a reactive model—where all technology spends seem to be a surprise—to a considered, thoughtful, strategic approach. 

How? By providing a fractional IT director.

One success Wolbeck has seen in small businesses with a fractional IT director is that the organization will start adopting technology at a more rapid pace, specifically around departmental needs—like introducing a new CRM system to streamline their sales processes and optimize productivity. With the guidance of a fractional IT director leading the charge, a project like this, which used to take a year or more to implement, can instead take several months, saving time and money. 

Regardless of where your organization is at on its technology journey, here are three scenarios in which a fractional IT director can provide technology leadership for your business.

If you have NO IT person

When you don’t have an IT person and you reach a certain point of maturity within your organization—let’s say you grew from 30 people to 50 people and your revenue has significantly increased—things can start to get stuck. Your revenue has gone up, but so has your technology spend. Drastically. 

“You likely already have an MSP like us in place, and we’re doing the key blocking and tackling, but now you want to take it up to the next strategic level. We would recommend, in that case, a fractional IT director,” Wolbeck says. 

A fractional IT director from SUCCESS can get to know your organization intimately well, really understanding your business data needs, the strategic objectives overall, and how to communicate about all these things internally. In short, their success in leading your business’s IT journey can take you from constantly putting out fires to really building out the scaffolding of a solid strategy and technology plan.

If you have an IT person—but just one

If you feel that your sole IT person is constantly busy but can never get any projects completed, you’re likely ready for a fractional IT director. 

“Invariably we have those organizations who will come to us and say, ‘gosh I don’t think we have the right IT person. They’re always busy but they don’t get a whole lot of stuff done, we should get someone new.’ And nine times out of ten it’s not the IT person,” Wolbeck explains, but rather that “the organization doesn’t know how to manage their IT person, and they don’t know what to expect from them.”

In these situations, Wolbeck sees the fractional IT director really taking on a coaching role, both for the internal IT person, who can now focus on completing projects with some of the day-to-day tasks taken off their plate by SUCCESS’s team and tools, and for the company who needs guidance in managing this technological niche.

“Our goal is to get that help-desk-level person elevated into what we call an above-the-line position,” Wolbeck explains, “And then SUCCESS back-fills, and continues to provide the core MSP work; then their support person gets to move into a role where they’re working with the data and business objectives.” 

If you have an IT team

In this instance, an IT manager might be pulled in many directions, not only managing the daily work of their team, but trying to get leverage and executive buy-in to get key tech projects off the ground.

For this type of organization, a fractional IT director can play a role as a key ally and sounding board for the existing IT team.

“We tend to not be doing most of the day-to-day stuff in those environments, we do more of the high-level stuff, and we work with their current IT manager and coach them, on how to manage the team and how to use the tools appropriately, and determining what data is important,” Wolbeck says. 

Regardless of where you stand on your technological journey, having the guidance of a fractional IT director from SUCCESS can help you move forward through every phase, graduating from putting out fires, to getting the lay of the land, to short-term planning, then long-term planning, and eventually holistic strategizing, a technology plan, and help in executive team buy-in.

Whichever situation most mirrors your own, Wolbeck is certain a fractional IT director can help get you moving in the right direction.