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Mistake # 5: Using Un(der) Qualified People for IT Service

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While on the surface having a friend, neighbor, relative, or someone at work in charge of your IT may not seem like that bad of a move, I would think only when it comes to dog walking would you think this is ok in any other aspect of your life.  Imagine having your nephew who's "really good" at math do your tax returns for you.  Or imagine having your butcher giving you a second opinion (or a first for that matter!) on the best way to remove your gall bladder (remember, he's really good with knives).  Or imagine bringing your mini-van in to your local bike shop to fix your brakes (they're just brakes, how hard should it be?).  All of these scenarios may seem far fetched, but in reality the comparison's not that far off from your nephew building your website, your receptionist installing your ERP system, or your office administrator being "responsible" for patching and upgrading your workstations and servers.  Assuming someone is capable of such responsibility just because they can download and install software is a bad move.  An under-qualified person is never a good move both in the short term or the long term.  Certainly they're not qualified to give IT advice. A good IT person is always trained, certified, and experienced enough to work within the complexities of a business IT environment.  The fact is while technology is sold over and over again by the big boys (Microsoft, Cisco, HP, etc.) as being easy and no different from a home appliance, in a business setting it's really so much more.

It's clear that people who use under-qualified people for their IT a) sometimes don't really know they are and/or b) are thinking they're saving money by doing this.  In actuality, this couldn't be further from the truth.  Because they've fallen into this trap, most small businesses who do this actually end up spending more money just to correct the mistakes of this approach.  Every "best in class" business I've ever seen or heard of takes their technology seriously, allocates appropriate resources to it (ie: quality and quantity), and invests in the long term.  Rich people get rich by investing - not cutting corners.  The same is true when running your IT.  Cutting corners will always cost you more in the long run and take you to places you really don't want to be.  And having under-qualified people providing your IT service is one of the fastest ways of getting there.  And as they say, "Don't go there".

About the Author
Craig Pollack
Craig Pollack Blog Profile Image Craig is the Founder & CEO of FPA Technology Services, Inc. Craig provides the strategy and direction for FPA, ensuring its clients, their business owners, and key decision makers leverage technology most effectively to achieve their business objectives. Craig focuses on ensuring that the technologies implemented by clients are "business centric" and key components of their businesses' success, and that this approach is shared by every staff member of FPA.
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