Tips for midsize company leaders on IT teams’ structure to address the current industry challenges.
Updated: Apr 10
Living through a pandemic has changed both businesses and social behaviors. For midsize enterprises (MSE), this has brought the adaptation of digital business initiatives to the forefront to address the demands of customers and employees in this new ecosystem. The last few years have changed customers’ behavior. Digital B2B and B2C transactions are the new norms. Most employees prioritize working remotely at the top of the list of demands from their employers. Leaders of midsize enterprises (MSE) have spent months adapting to change and quickly delivering innovative solutions. It is hard to sustain this speed without burning out, and prioritizing time and energy has never been more critical.
Depending on the business and industry, all MSEs have business functions that require specialized skills, including, e.g., Finance, Marketing, Legal, HR, and Sales. In smaller organizations, usually, these roles are filled with a mix of internal employees and external vendors in the form of consultants or on a fractional basis. The need for Information Technology support is like any other service the business needs to operate efficiently and stay compliant. The last few years have brought the IT for most MSEs under the microscope due to increased reliance on digital channels to do business.
IT teams within midsize enterprises (MSE) are small – typically 5-30 employees, including management. Technology leaders are usually close to their business leaders. Outsourcing is typical, and many roles are multi-dimensional. Effective execution in these environments with smaller teams with limited skill sets and tighter budgets requires a different people, process, and technology approach. Following is the typical setup of a midsize enterprise.
The functions mentioned above are sometimes not handled correctly in MSEs due to a lack of focus and resources. Certain areas of weakness become more apparent when an event like a cybersecurity breach or a long-lasting pandemic such as COVID-19 happens. As companies have become more integrated into the digital ecosystem, the intensity of these events has increased many folds. According to Verizon's 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, “46% of all cyber breaches impact businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees.” Usually, these kinds of incidents happen because some function in IT is not handled correctly due to a lack of resources or skill set. These kinds of technology shortfalls can sometimes jeopardize a business’s existence.
The overarching question for most technology leaders is, “How do you effectively manage your IT going forward to provide support to all the necessary functions within IT?”
The answer to this lies in the technology leader's approach toward strategically designing the IT organization to manage all the critical functions within IT. Some areas need to be handled internally, and some parts should be taken internally but, due to budgetary reasons, need to be outsourced. In that case, you must pick your Managed Service Provider (MSP) and technology firm that can become your true long-term partners in supporting your current and future needs.
The points mentioned above are high-level guidelines for holistically thinking about giving your IT staff the support they need to cover all the necessary functions within IT.
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