Our administrative council has begun to question our current staffing situation.

Currently, we have two staff members in our IT department.  One is the PC Technician, the other is the IT Director.  The IT department supports around 900 people, a couple dozen locally hosted server applications, and of course the normal AD, printing, WiFi, etc...

The PC technician handles the day to day preventative maintenance of desktop, user troubleshooting, printer maintenance, and other generally less technical regular maintenance.

The Director handles network and server maintenance, database management, and other more technical system requirements in addition to the bureaucratic technology needs (budgeting, institutional planning, etc...)

Recently, our Director was in Jury duty and was unavailable to help the technician resolve a network outage over the phone.  Once the director was out of Jury Duty he was able to resolve the issues quickly in person.

The questions that came up in light of this are:

  • Do you have a "backup" person/people to your primary server/network support staff?
  • Do you have multiple people with shared knowledge on your full time staff that are all capable of recovering from a system outage?
  • Is there a member of your staff that you would be utterly lost without?  If this person took an out of town vacation would you be nervous?

We're small enough to only need two staff members for day to day support.  Outsourced ad-hoc solutions are attractive, but an outsourced staff wouldn't have the familiarity of the local network that is needed for quick resolutions of unexpected service outages.


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I think you need another IT person.  In my opinion, IT staffing should be based more on what level of support and services the institution wants provided.  Cross-training would be a good idea.  Outsourcing is always a bad idea, unless it is just for support as needed.  With all that said, sometimes budgets just will not allow the best solution.


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