Narrative is taken from Key Man Risk Podcast
In my many years of working with Not For Profits (NFPs) I’ve noticed they often make a mistake when it comes to the area of in-house IT. There are obviously some very good people working on in-house IT for NFPs but, by their very nature, they can’t be everywhere and everything to all people.
You can’t have the same type of person who might be good taking calls on the service desk be the same person who is able to advise the CEO or senior management. They’ll get sick, they’ll go on leave or they’ll go on training and, when they’re away, they obviously can’t be there for you.
When we see organisations with these kinds of problems we call it key man risk. When we meet NPRs for the first time, we immediately assess where they are suffering from key man risk. There are five key areas we look at.
- If their IT person was to leave for the day, does IT grind to a halt? We find that many organisations can’t do anything unless that person is present.
- This concerns anything documented. A lot of organisations don’t even know where the passwords are if their IT person was never to turn up again. The business wouldn’t know how to log into their own systems.
- Is there a growing backlog of projects? Sometimes we see that there are half-finished projects or projects they are afraid to start because they’re not sure their IT person is going to be able to help them out.
- Do they have any visibility or control over what their key man is doing? What did they do last week? What are they doing next week? There is probably very little monthly reporting about what’s going on.
- Finally Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Even if they’re a hard worker they’re probably not working under SLAs, so you never quite know when any task is going to get finished.
If you’re suffering from any of these kinds of symptoms you probably have key man risk in your organisation.
IT is a critical function in all businesses and, luckily, key man risk is something that is relatively easy to overcome.
You want to look at outsourcing via an outcome-based managed service such as our own IT department as a service offering. Our service doesn’t get sick or take leave. All of the maintenance, documentation, and reporting that’s required to keep your organisation running and healthy is included as part of that service.
It’s fixed price and fixed outcome projects so you can sweep away your project backlog and all of our services are delivered under an SLA which is resolution time focussed so you know you are going to get the outcomes you need in a reasonable time.
At the end of the day, there are many reasons to outsource your IT and we’ll work with you to develop a customised road map that turns IT from a cost centre to an enabler of your business strategy.