An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting an IT Department from Scratch

 

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting an IT Department from Scratch

An Entrepreneurs Guide to Starting an It Department from Scratch Banner

The role of IT in the current digital world has become indispensable. Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace, especially within the business landscape. As such, entrepreneurs like yourself must recognize the pressing need for a well-established IT department, whether you’re launching a startup or expanding an existing venture.

In this article, we’ll discuss the various responsibilities of an effective IT team and starting an IT department from scratch to equip you with the knowledge needed to build a resilient and efficient IT infrastructure.

What Are the Responsibilities of the IT Department?

Understanding and effectively managing your IT department’s responsibilities can transform it into a strategic asset that propels your organization forward in the digital world.

Administration

This function is the backbone of seamless IT operations. It entails day-to-day processes like managing hardware and software assets, allocating budget and resources, and facilitating licensing agreements. However, it also involves formulating strategic IT infrastructure plans that align with your broader objectives to take you closer to your business goals.

Technical support

It’s all too common for employees to encounter an error while working, whether it’s with a specialized application or simply the computer. Your IT department can step in to assist and address issues ranging from software glitches to hardware malfunctions, minimizing downtime. They’re also responsible for training your staff on navigating and operating new devices and software to eliminate guesswork.

Cybersecurity

Recent data reveals that 61% of small and midsized businesses (SMBs) became victims of cybercrime in the past year. Given this risk, being on top of current cybersecurity measures is essential. The IT department can implement robust strategies within the company to protect sensitive information and ensure compliance with data protection regulations so you won’t have to worry about impending attacks.

Development

While third-party apps are convenient, they might not fully address your business’s technological needs. Fortunately, an in-house IT department can develop software solutions, integrate systems, and ensure a scalable and agile IT environment to streamline operations and directly manage your pain points.

A Guide to Starting an IT Department from Scratch

The following aspects will help you lay the foundation for a high-performing and resilient IT department that meets your business’s evolving needs.

Decide on the organizational structure

What form will your IT team take? Consider your company’s size, industry, and level of autonomy that each task requires to determine your IT department’s organization.

  • A centralized structure involves department heads making critical decisions and distributing them down the chain of command. It ensures greater control over business processes, although it may delay decision-making.
  • A decentralized structure allows lower-level staff to pinpoint issues and make decisions before passing them on to upper management. This option gives employees greater autonomy and cuts wait times drastically, but it could make coordination challenging.

Your chosen structure will lay the groundwork for effective collaboration and workflow efficiency within your IT department.

Set a budget for your IT department

Of course, how much you’re willing to spend to sustain a team and its operations is a significant concern. Begin by identifying the core needs essential for your infrastructure, encompassing hardware, software, personnel training, and ongoing maintenance.

Next, allocate resources judiciously, understanding that certain areas, such as cybersecurity and infrastructure development, may require more investments than others. A good practice is prioritizing critical functions that align with your business objectives to reduce expenses while establishing long-term sustainability.

Establish hiring and onboarding procedures

A competent and cohesive team starts with a well-defined recruitment process. So, identify your qualifications and skills for each position. For instance, you could look for candidates who not only possess relevant IT certifications but also align with your company’s values. Then, familiarize them with their roles and immerse them in the company culture for a smoother onboarding.

Create job roles and responsibilities for each department

Define and tailor each team member’s job roles and responsibilities to your business’s needs, then clearly articulate them to employees to avoid ambiguity and promote accountability. Creating a cohesive team with well-defined roles improves operational efficiency and lays the groundwork for future scalability.

Determine your compensation and benefits scheme

An excellent way to attract top talent for your IT department is to provide a competitive pay and benefits package. So, research current salary benchmarks to avoid under- and overpaying. Consider offering additional benefits as well, like HMO, professional development opportunities, and flexible work arrangements, to attract skilled IT professionals and motivate them long-term.

Draft your performance evaluation process

Determine whether your IT department is worth the investment by performing evaluations. Regularly assess individual and team performance using key performance indicators or KPIs for each role and align them with departmental and organizational goals. Don’t forget to provide constructive feedback and recognition when due to reinforce excellent contributions.

Ask for professional help

An effective IT department is a culmination of your strategic decisions over time, like consistently evaluating team members’ skills and building a collaborative environment. However, finding the right staff in your locality might be challenging despite your efforts to establish adequate procedures. 

Moreover, hiring skilled IT candidates is getting significantly harder due to supply and demand issues. As such, consider outsourcing or offshoring and enlisting IT search services to build your dream team easily in less time without compromising quality. 

Set Your Company Up for Success with Your IT Department 

Establishing and nurturing an IT department is a significant undertaking requiring thorough planning and execution. Your decisions in the early stages will impact your daily operations and your team’s long-term success. So, take these considerations to heart as you build a team that’ll take your company closer to its goals in this increasingly digital and competitive world.

Find the best staff for your organization. Manila Recruitment, the leading recruitment agency in the Philippines, can help with your IT outsourcing and recruitment needs so you can start building a top-performing staff in no time.

Contact us to learn more!


About Lawrence Barrett

Lawrence left the UK in 2010 after been headhunted to live and work in Shanghai in the financial services industry. Then in 2014 his company asked him to move to the Philippines to set up an office and establish a team to support our international business development efforts in the region and, like most people, he fell in love with the place. Lawrence always had an entrepreneurial mindset and so there was a burning desire to start a business he could call his own. In 2015 he decided to team up with a friend to start a business in the Oil & Gas industry that is centered around a globally patented pipeline sealing technology (The Halo Seal). As time went by he developed a close relationship with the Founder and CEO of Manila Recruitment and so in late 2017 he was invited to become an equity partner and to help expand the brand. And so here he is now, a part of the most dynamic headhunting firm in the Philippines. Connect with Lawrence Barrett on LinkedIn