By: Karen Cohen on March 11, 2023
How Many IT Staff Members Does My Business Need? Number Vs. Skills
Small businesses typically are a microcosm of larger businesses.
Depending on their industry, they typically need proportionally smaller finance, human resources, and engineering staffs for example. They need smaller office space and manufacturing facilities.
But how can small business leaders like you ensure you are getting all of the IT support you need? What is the optimal IT staff size?
I work at a managed IT support provider and we get this question a lot. In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the things to consider when making this important decision. (And, don’t worry, I won’t try to sell you on working with us because, the truth is, we know that managed IT isn’t the right solution for every organization.)
Rather than use our articles to push our services, we like them to provide easy-to-understand information you can use to make the best IT decision for your organization. We know it’s a different approach, but we are committed to being your resource for honest information.
After you read this article, you’ll have a complete understanding of the implications of your IT support staff and will be able to use this information to lead your organization to an optimal IT staffing solution.
How Many IT Staff Members Does My Small Business Need?
A quick internet search will reveal a number of recommendations about the proportional size of an IT staff for a small organization. But, frankly, I’m not sure how helpful the recommendations are. I’ve read that one IT person can handle from 20 to 100 users.
From the IT experts I work with, the approach of “right-sizing” IT staff is complicated.
Rather than thinking about it proportionally, my colleagues consider the big picture and often say that all business networks need the same care and maintenance; the only difference is the scale.
When you think of IT staffing in those terms, it’s more about the skills you need rather than the number of people.
What Care Does My Small Business Network Need?
Technology is the backbone of every business. Without your technology infrastructure, your business will grind to a halt. So what care and maintenance does every network need?
Your IT support staff needs to understand the latest threats and tools to keep your network safe. Networks and devices need security measures like firewalls, encryption, anti-malware and antivirus protection to keep your business and customer data secure.
Proactive monitoring tools ensure that any unauthorized access is detected and thwarted to contain it and minimize the impact. Incident notification can be the difference between being a victim and mitigating an attack in progress.
Related article: What Is Infrastructure Monitoring? How Does It Prevent Cyber Attacks?
Keeping systems patched and updated ensures that you have the latest protections against emerging security threats and the most efficient performance parameters in place to keep your network performing optimally.
Every network needs to be backed up regularly to ensure that data can be recovered in the event of a natural or cyber disaster. But, that’s only the first step. Make sure you have a process that details how to recover the data and that you practice before you are in the midst of a crisis.
Related article: Data Backups Are Key To Disaster Recovery
To be effective, your network needs to be ready to support the goals and strategy of your business.
This will help avoid bottlenecks, congestion, performance issues, and failures when new employees or remote offices are added to your network. Alignment ensures that the technology tools needed for success are in place before they are needed.
Related article: Align Your IT And Business Strategy: What It Means, How To Do It
What’s The Bottom Line?
The goal of this article was to provide the information you need to make the best IT decision for your organization.
We explored the suggested ratio of IT staff to employees based on an internet search. We then explored five elements of care that every network needs to be safe, available, and efficient.
If you have an internal IT staff, they may be able to handle the security, monitoring, updates/patches, backups, and alignment your network needs.
If you don’t have an internal IT staff or they are overextended responding to the daily needs of your users, you may want to consider partnering with an external IT support provider to ensure that your network receives all of the care it needs.
If you decided to explore a partnership with an external IT support provider, I encourage you to check out several options to find one that is the right fit for your organization.
It may seem strange that I don’t simply recommend Kelser for all of your IT needs. But, the reality is that while we believe in the strength of our comprehensive managed IT solution, we also know it isn’t the right fit for every organization.
If you choose to work with us and we aren’t the right fit to work together, that doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help us. You will end up unhappy and our partnership will be ineffective.
We take this advice to check out multiple providers so seriously that we’ve even done some of the legwork for you. Learn how The Walker Group and Kelser compare based on publicly available information on our websites.
Why do we publish articles that compare us to our competition? We are committed to honesty and the truth is that each organization has a solid offering. We also know that when we have an important purchase to make the first thing we do is an internet search to explore our options. We figured we'd just save you a step.
Want to learn more? Learn what managed IT support services include and how much it costs.
Or, if you’d like to talk to a person, click the button below and one of our advisors will schedule a call to discuss your pain points and see if we are a good fit to work together.