Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to work with many great companies employing a talented and exceptional IT staff. Obviously, the optimal situation for us is to provide assistance for a company that is already maintaining good IT practices, with or without an in-house IT staff.

Unfortunately, this scenario is not always what we encounter. At times, we find ourselves in thorny situations, and it’s not always clear how our client wishes us to proceed. One of our biggest challenges is to decide what to say to management when we discover that the in-house IT group may not be performing in the best interest of the company.

This scenario can arise for a myriad of reasons: An employee may lack a good understanding of the company’s IT needs. Employees may be afraid to tell management about mistakes because they are concerned about losing their job. Their IT practices may not be adequately aligned with the company’s overall goals. Or the employee may simply not know enough about IT to support the company’s IT needs.

The bottom line remains: If your IT employees make decisions that are not in the best interest of your company, they are doing more harm than good.

When we see this problem, we address it directly with the in-house IT staff, offering advice such as ways to overcome systems deficiencies, eliminate poor practices or improve security. But it’s not always easy to go about it, especially if the in-house IT staff perceives our presence as a threat to their employment. It’s not our desire to say something that will result in an IT employee being fired. And we’re not trying to convince companies to get rid of their IT staff and replace them with us. Frankly, if we did that for one company, we would not’t have enough time to assist our other clients.

It’s in the client’s best interests to have the best in-house IT staff they can find. It’s in our best interest to assist the in-house IT staff in increasing their value to their company. But when the in-house IT staff keeps everyone in the dark regarding what they’re doing, poor practices and ill-conceived planned initiatives, things can go bad fast.

Sometimes the actual conditions inside the company’s IT department are not what management thinks they are. In these cases, managers operate under the faulty assumption that their in-house IT personnel are doing one thing, when in fact, the opposite might be going on. When this is the case, we find ourselves in a dilemma. Does management want us to tell them that fixing the problem long-term may involve restructuring their internal IT support? And if so, how would they like us to give that recommendation to them?

This is a serious issue because significant business risks arise when your in-house IT group is not performing in the best interests of your company. IT problems can result in the loss of finances, clients, reputation, and employees. Part of our job is to help you minimize those risks, and that may involve addressing some thorny issues.

To better serve you, we’d like to hear your ideas.

How would you like us to approach a situation in which we are concerned about your in-house IT group?

Is this an issue you would like us to bring up with management? What do you think is the best way for us to talk to you about it? As always, we’re here to serve you—so, please share with us what you think is the best way for us to share difficult news about IT staff when it’s for the good of your company in the long run.

Resourceware is Oklahoma City’s premiere forward-thinking, full service IT provider: architecture, maintenance, management and monitoring for businesses of all sizes. Our IT OKC blog is our way of showcasing the community we serve. Connect with us on FaceBook at Resourceware and on Twitter @ResourcewareIT.