When Should I Hire My Own IT Department?


As small business clients grow the question of outsourcing versus insourcing always comes up.

And the answer as always is…

Well, it depends.

Today I’ll offer up a number.

But before the big reveal, there are 3 rules of thumb you’ll need to observe if you subscribe to the Get Your Tech Right Way.

1—Never do IT yourself

Whether it’s 20% of your time or 100% of your time.

As an owner or manager in a small business don’t do IT yourself.

If you are rolling up your sleeves, crawling under desks, and configuring equipment.

Something is not right.

2—You will always outsource something

Whether it’s tools and services or seeking direction from professionals, your modern business will always outsource part of your tech.

Don’t think that hiring someone internally will make things cheaper.

More often than not.

Your tech spend for people, apps, tools and services increases commensurate to your business.

3—You need to be involved

Tech is an integral part of any modern business.

Never put your tech on auto-pilot.

While you may change the people involved in helping you manage, monitor and maintain your tech environment.

A business owner should always be up to date on the status of the tech in their business.

Keep it 100

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we’re onto the next item that answers the age-old question.

At what point should I hire my own IT department?

And the number is 100.

While there are arguments that could be made for hiring sooner or later.

The milestone or decision point is really at 100.

At 100 people your business will have a level of sophistication that requires internal leadership.

Your business should have alignment to the 4 Tenets of Tech.

Your business should have the key people, process, products, and tech.

Now I am not saying that you need a full department to handle all of the functions of tech.

But you do need internal leadership.

Yes, your first hire should be a leader.

And a tech company down the road or even one that’s nationwide can’t fill that need.

While many will say that they do.

Very few can actually deliver on the promise.

Unless you have a full time dedicated incentivized person as your tech leader.

You won’t have leadership.

Sure a professional services company can be a resource.

Sure a managed service provider will have insights.

But a professional IT leader on staff, overseeing and managing the tech in your business is critical to your continued success once you reach 100 people.

Now you know.

The number is 100.

And so the next question would be…

What should my first IT hire look like?