December 4, 2013
You find yourself spending more and more money on computer networking experts to "put out fires" with the computer system in the office. Thinking the expense may be penny wise and pound foolish, you're considering hiring a dedicated computer specialist. Here are some issues to consider when making the decision:
- How much "down time" will the employee have? What other skills of that employee can you take advantage of during such down time? Can the employee use down time to upgrade other employees' skills--for example, by teaching them time-saving word processing, spreadsheet, or database skills? Is there a need for such training in your organization?
- Are your technical problems, questions and challenges the result of outdated systems and equipment, or the result of a lack of anyone keeping an eye on things? Have you had a consultant do an independent evaluation of your organization's technology and knowledge management practices?
- Are there employees in your organization who have technical skills that are not being tapped? Are there employees who are especially adept at learning new technical skills and could be trained?
- Have you explored the possibility of a permanent, part-time network specialist? Sometimes, it helps to hire an employee to work a certain number of hours per week, regardless of whether the system is in need of repair. He or she can handle maintenance that can prevent costly breakdowns from occurring.
SOURCE: Todd Raphael, Workforce Online, May 15, 1999.