What to Do When Your IT Manager Retires
You’ve had an IT manager for the last 15 years, and he’s (or she's) just told you that he’s retiring. He knows your business and your systems intimately – he might have even built them!
So, how will you fill his shoes? How will you get what you need once when he’s gone?
The good news: Retiring employees generally give ample notice.
This gives you the opportunity to fully assess the situation and plan for a smooth transition. When employees leave voluntarily and you part ways amicably, transferring the knowledge to a new person or company should be much easier.
You also get the opportunity to reevaluate the position entirely.
With IT, you have two choices: Should they be replaced by another person, or should the function be outsourced?
In either case, planning should begin immediately. You’ll need a process for evaluating your options and how you’ll make your decision.
Option 1: Hire a New IT Manager
If you decide the position should be filled by another in-house employee, start recruiting as soon as possible. The technology sector has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, so the right person could take time to find.
Once you’ve selected the perfect candidate, it’s ideal they work alongside the retiring IT manager for about a month, if possible.
This gives the new hire the ability to fully understand how things are configured, how to troubleshoot your systems, and where the organization’s information technology stands overall. The amount of time they should shadow will depend on the amount of documentation that’s readily available.
If the existing manager has thorough network documentation, getting a new person up to speed will be much faster.
Option 2: Hire an IT Support Company
If you choose to outsource the position, start the interview process a few months before the manager is scheduled to leave.
Interview a few local companies, and if you’re having trouble figuring out which would be best for your needs, ask to visit their offices for a presentation of how their services are delivered. This approach helps you get a feel for how they operate and lets you meet some of the team members you’d be working with.
Once you’ve chosen the company, it’s ideal to have the agreement in place a few weeks before your IT manager leaves. When the onboarding and knowledge transfer processes start before the IT support agreement goes into effect, the IT company will be ready with full documentation and the ability to effectively support the organization when the agreement start date arrives.
While it’s best to have an IT company start onboarding before the IT manager exits, that’s not always possible if the timeline for their departure catches you by surprise. Luckily, detailed onboarding procedures can ease this pain and make the transition a much smoother experience.
It’s always tough when an employee leaves, but with the right onboarding procedures in place, the transition doesn’t have to be so bad. If you need help with an IT transition, contact a trusted consultant to help you through the process.
As featured in November 26th issue of The Press-Enterprise.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.