Bring Your IT In-House

When Should You Hire Your Own IT Department?

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Deciding to Hire Your Own IT Department

Bringing your IT in-house is a very personal decision.  For example, it may be that your company has grown in size and it now makes financial sense to bring IT in-house.  Or another reason might be that the company has reached a point in time when it needs some strategic vision to be competitive in the marketplace.  Of course, it could be something as simple as the new CEO who wants a live body down the hall to be readily available if and when he needs them.  Whatever the reason, it is important to do it right.

The First Step in Bringing IT In: Your In-House Plan

If you are going to bring your own IT department in-house, your first step will be to establish an IT plan. It is not enough to go out and hire in hopes the person will be able to do the job. A good IT plan will serve as a guideline for the strategic direction of your IT initiatives in the future. It will also help you receive faster approval during each phase of the plan.  This is because you already gained acceptance from the executive team from the beginning.

Fortunately, you can do this on your own! It doesn’t need to be anything fancy; it just needs to be clear and complete. A good IT plan should support the vision of the business and the IT Strategy. Moreover, it will provide direction on when to hire at each phase, what level to hire at, external resources, and internal technology tools.  Last, it should be simple, specific to your company and culture, cover no more than five years, and be a high level.

The Second Step in Bringing IT In-House: Hiring Your IT People

Now that you have determined your IT plan, you know what type of engineering resources you need.  You should also know the phases in which to hire them, and the tools they need to be successful.  Only then, is it time to consider who to hire.  Unfortunately, it is difficult for a non-technical person to truly know who would be a good match.  That is why I recommend doing a background check, drug screening, personality test, and verifying their technical aptitude.

Background Checks & Drug Screening

The next thing you need to do before you bring your IT in-house is to set up a background and drug screening program.  You may not realize this, but as long as your internal IT people have administrative rights, they also have the keys to the kingdom.  Subsequently, they can view your emails, listen in on your calls, and see your financials, HR, and intellectual property.  This is the same with anyone who had administrative access, whether they are an employee or managed service provider.  Either way, you must be very diligent in your screening process.

This is especially true if you are held to regulatory compliance standards.  In these cases, the law expects you to vet anyone who has administrative access.  The reason behind this is that you are holding the information that is sensitive to others such as medical information, social security, credit card information, and other identifying factors.  As a result, criminals sell this information in large quantities to the highest bidder on the black market.  As a regulated industry, you are ultimately held responsible if this information is breached.

Regardless of whether you are mandated to do a background check or drug screening, it is still a wise thing to do.  After all, there are many stories of IT employees who have left a back door open to the server when they left a company. Or a disgruntled employee who sabotaged the business.  It’s unfortunate, but it does happen.

Personality Test

Speaking of disgruntled employees, desperate people do desperate things.  Therefore, it is not uncommon for any employee to become territorial when their job is threatened, some more than others.  That is why it is very important to do a personality test before hiring your next IT person.

The ideal IT person is a great communicator, is great at following processes, and has great problem-solving skills.  A good personality test will be able to screen for the first two.  Also, it will help you identify their work ethic.

How to Verify Their Technical Aptitude

Once you have identified the level you need to hire in your IT Plan, you will now need to test their technical strengths.  Fortunately, several companies offer online tests.  These tests assess their trouble-shooting abilities and their technical aptitude for the position they are applying for.  The great news is, at the time of this writing, there are several highly qualified unemployed IT professionals due to the pandemic.  Before this, the good IT people were taken and there was only a 0.7% unemployment rate.

On another note, you could also use an IT recruiter.  However, I would still suggest you check their background, do a drug screening, perform a personality test, and test their aptitude.

The Third Step in Bringing IT In-House: Filling in the Gaps

When it is time to bring your IT in-house, please make sure you set them up for success.  For example, a successful IT department will have the right tools and resources to serve your staff well.  This includes:

  1. Technical IT Resources – Provide your IT a team to bounce ideas off of, escalate issues, and serve as a backup.
  2. Ticketing Software –  This not only helps them track tickets through to completion, but it also helps you monitor their progress and end-user satisfaction.
  3. Robust Monitoring Tools – You need both network monitoring tools and desktop monitoring tools if you are to get a solid return on your technology investment.
  4. Remote Assist Software Tools – This tool will allow them to remote into any desktop computer and fix the issue for the end-user.

To emphasize, it is important to not go with inexpensive technology tools.  Like any other software, it needs to integrate with your processes.  This requires a huge investment of time and resources to program them correctly.  So much time that it will be difficult to switch.  On the other hand, you can partner with a Managed Service Provider, like INSI, who has invested in the most robust tools to monitor, maintain, and access multiple environments.


You set up your entire company for success when you equip your IT support staff with the resources and tools they need.  Unfortunately, many companies still view IT as a necessary evil rather than a competitive advantage.  In many of those cases, they are highly understaffed and highly responsive.  Obviously, both the end-users and the health of the network should be proactive.

At INSI, our Customized IT™ program is perfect for IT departments as they transition to full IT staff.  Click here if you would like to know more about these services.

Do You Want To Learn More About Bringing Your IT In-House?

If you would like to know more about this topic and how it affects you, visit Amazon or Barnes & Noble for a copy of the book IT Outsourcing Secrets – A Small Business Guide to Comparing IT Support Companies.

About Deborah Frazier information

Deborah Frazier has nearly 20 years in the IT Support industry. She is also the successful author of "IT Outsourcing Secrets - A Small Business Guide to Compare IT Support Companies."