A two-week notice – or even worse a sudden departure – from a critical IT employee (an IT manager, IE network engineer, CIO, etc.) can leave a company scrambling.
If you find yourself in this situation, your mind is likely racing trying to figure out what you need to continue filling your technology needs.
If you’re like any modern business, you still need someone to ensure your hardware and applications are running smoothly, any necessary updates are installed, and any IT emergencies are resolved.
In other words, your IT environment keeps working (or not working) even if you lose a critical IT employee, so you need to consider how to fill that position quickly, even if temporarily.
However, before you begin to consider your options for moving forward, you need to assess what situation you are in with your crucial IT employee gone.
Cleaning up after the critical IT employee left
Whether the employee was your IT manager, IE network engineer, or CIO, the position he or she held likely included access to the majority — if not entirety — of your IT infrastructure. It’s important you take the proper steps to off-board them.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll use the example of an IT manager who left your company, however, these steps should be followed for any critical IT employee who is no longer with your organization.
There are three questions we think are helpful to consider during this process:
1. What data have they taken with them?
If you don’t have the proper accountability measures in place, your IT manager could have unbridled access to your IT systems both during and after their employment.
Ideally, your IT department was set up with redundancy for permissions and access to the IT system before he or she even thought of leaving.
However, if that’s not the case, your IT manager could have walked away with the keys to your kingdom, and you need to revoke that access.
2. Does your former IT manager still have access to your network?
Even if your IT manager left on the best of terms, they’re no longer your employee, and for your protection, any access they had before leaving your company needs to be cut off.
Email, user logins, and VPN access all need to be revoked to permanently sever the tie between you and your former IT manager.
This is the best-case scenario. However, rarely, but often enough to mention, your former IT manager will have locked you out of your network. In this case, cleaning up after your IT manager’s departure is more complicated.
3. Do you need to recover any information from your former IT manager?
The KR Group’s MSP engineers are no stranger to companies who can’t access parts or any of their network when they clean up after their IT manager leaves.
You can try and reach out to your IT manager about the issue. However, if they maliciously locked you out, you might have to resort to legal action to have them respond.
Another option you have is to contract with an IT security adviser who could release some of the information.
Unfortunately, if you find yourself locked out of your network, you’re likely looking at a long and expensive road of rebuilding most, if not all, of your IT system.
Regardless if you’re experiencing a rough or smooth transition, you’ll need to move forward with replacing your IT manager.
Your options for moving forward after your IT manager leaves
When finding a replacement for your former IT manager, it’s important to at least find a temporary solution quickly. If a critical component of your IT environment goes down and you don’t have someone to fix it, parts of your business operations could come to a halt.
Ideally, you should transition to interim IT services within a couple of days of your IT manager leaving. We know that’s not much time to research your options and decide which route to go, so we’ve put together a list four choices for filling in for your IT manager:
- You can rely on your remaining IT department.
- You can hire another IT Manager quickly.
- You can look to an MSP for augmented IT services.
- You can temporarily rely on an MSP for managed services.
- You can switch to managed IT services as your permanent solution.
No matter which option you decide is best for you, any of these four should keep your IT functions running smoothly as long as you rely on it.
1. You can rely on your remaining IT department.
If you have other in-house IT staff members that are qualified to take over all – or at least most – of your previous IT manager’s responsibilities, you can have them fill in for or take over those duties.
This option provides the smoothest transition since your primary focus is on recruitment (or training if you decide to promote from within your company).
If the other engineers within your IT department lack the knowledge needed to run your IT systems, though, this option won’t work for you. You’ll need some external help to help you through those problems.
2. You can hire another IT manager quickly.
If you already have a likely replacement in mind for your IT manager, best-case scenario, they are able to fill the position right away, and you don’t have to worry about an interim IT solution.
You can also attempt to expedite the recruitment process, and hope for an IT manager who can take over the role quickly.
Even if you find a replacement the next day, most new employees need two weeks to transition between jobs. If you have other in-house IT employees, you might determine you can wait that long.
However, if your IT manager is the only IT position in your company or you know you can’t wait two weeks or more to have an IT manager to manage specific areas of your IT infrastructure, this solution won’t work for you.
3. You can look to an MSP for augmented IT support
While many people think of MSPs as IT partners who take over the entirety of their IT infrastructure, that’s not always the case. Many MSPs offer a subset of managed services called augmented services.
With augmented services, an MSP handles some of your IT needs and requests – such as routine monitoring or more complicated service requests — while your in-house IT staff does the rest and provides the daily response.
If your IT manager has left a hole in your department and you need external help to fill it, augmented services can be a great option. They allow businesses with an existing IT department to get by with a little help until a new IT manager can take the reins.
This solution isn’t plausible for everyone, though, especially if you don’t have internal staff to rely on for the in-house portion.
4. You can temporarily rely on an MSP for managed services
If small- or medium-sized businesses have an IT department, the “department” might be limited to that sole IT manager who is now gone. In this case, you want an option with more assistance than augmented services. You might be better suited by opting for managed IT services.
While you’re busy recruiting your next IT manager, your MSP will be providing 24/7 coverage of your IT systems, including remote monitoring and management (RMM), redundancy, and endpoint protection.
If you end up enjoying the benefits of managed IT services, though, you could consider making it more than a temporary solution.
5. You can switch to managed IT services as your permanent solution.
With your IT manager leaving, you might want to consider if an in-house IT manager is still the best option for you.
Managed IT services have many advantages over in-house IT, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses. And, in many cases, managed services are also a more cost-efficient method of managing your IT systems.
Your IT manager’s departure provides a great opportunity for you to evaluate your plan for your company’s IT management and consider other options, including managed services.
Many MSPs offer a period of time where you can leave the contract without any penalties. (For example, The KR Group’s managed services contract includes a 90-day trial period.)
MSPs with these clauses allow you to test a different option without committing to a contract for potentially several years.
Moving forward with an MSP
Whether you partner with an MSP for temporary augmented or managed services or decide to jump into a managed IT services contract, you’ll have to go through an onboarding process.
If you decide to go the managed services route, we encourage you to download our free onboarding checklist. Keep in mind, though, you’ve already completed the notification and off-boarding portions since you are already without a current IT manager.
Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you want to know more about how The KR Group can help you through this transition.