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Common IT Mistakes that Business Owners Make – Part Three

Published on Mar 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm in Tips & Tricks.

This is the last part of a three part series about IT mistakes that business owners commonly make. This post will cover problems with staffing and decision makers.

1. Empowering Staff Who Dabble In IT

One of the most detrimental mistakes a business can make is handing over its IT needs to a staff member or manager who dabbles in IT. A little bit of knowledge can be dangerous—this is especially true within the IT industry.

We often come across businesses where a “non-expert” manager who’s in charge of IT hides his or her incompetence by dedicating unnecessary time to superficial tasks and reports. Occasionally this fools a business owner because it is extremely difficult to spot a non-expert’s façade unless you are of equal or higher IT proficiency.

Here’s an opinion from the Australian Networking Engineers that further explains this problem.

“The average business person has no possible way of gauging a person’s or company’s IT technical skills. This is because only a person of equal or greater technical capability can assess technical skill. It’s a little like asking a lawyer to assess the knowledge and skills of doctor.

This point is also relevant when planning major software purchases or implementations. Assuming that software engineers or software companies are capable of advising on broader network issues is a mistake. Software engineers and network engineers are as diverse as civil and mechanical engineers. Software providers should work in consultation with the network administrator/network engineer simply because their application lives inside the network.”

We couldn’t have said it any better.

Staff members who dabble in IT are much more productive doing what they do best—making money for their businesses by devoting all of their time to areas where they really are experts.

2. Employing Multiple Decision Makers

As bad as it can get if a company empowers an IT manager without the skills to proficiently execute the IT needs of the business, it’s equally bad if a company empowers multiple administrators or decision makers.

There needs to be one point of accountability, and everyone in a company leadership position needs to know who’s in charge of IT. There’s nothing worst them getting in a crisis situation when multiple parties share accountability. When nobody is accountable, nothing gets done and it’s nobody’s fault.

What are some common IT mistakes that you’ve heard about/come across in your industry? Let us know in the comments section below.

View Part One of the series here.

View Part Two of the series here.