Information technology professionals are notorious do-it-yourselfers. Many of them are self-taught and all of them tend to guard their territory with near fanatical fervor. They take great pride in handling every technical problem that rears its head, and asking for help is one of the last things on their minds. Ironically, it’d seem that most IT professionals would rather stop and ask for directions than admit they need help on a project. It is the geek’s very own type of macho bravado.
Their reluctance to ask for help is somewhat understandable. The trend for the last decade has been for companies to run very lean IT departments and are always on the watch for additional efficiencies. Requesting additional resources when the company is pushing to cut costs can feel like career suicide, so many IT professionals opt to just work longer and harder and do their best to figure things out. Most of the time the strategy pays off; they are able to keep the network and infrastructure up and running without too many problems.
Control is another central issue for IT professionals. Maintaining the tech environment is a key way they prove their value to the firm, therefore letting go of any type of control is a frightening proposition. Often, you’ll experience IT professionals being reluctant to reveal anything they are doing in detail so as to avoid any type of criticism or potential for a discussion on how things might be done differently.
However, when a company makes the decision to migrate to a new email system, it is time to put all the control and resource issues aside and get professional help. It is the one project where the risks involved, and the amount of preparation required, far outweigh any potential DIY savings.
The following are seven reasons why companies should never conduct an email migration without professional assistance:
- It is a one-time project with many variables. Migrating to a new email system is much more complex than most projects. Depending on the details of the network and the amount of devices the company is using, the number of variables to take into consideration can quickly become unmanageable without an already established process in place.
- Expert assistance with email migrations is more cost effective than doing the work in house. The enormous time required to prepare for a migration in addition to the potential for down time if there is a mistake, makes hiring specialists a bargain. They may seem like an added expense, but your ROI will be realized quickly through their efficiencies and ability to lower risk.
- Reduce the risk of email downtime. What is the cost per hour to your company if your system failed and no one could send or receive emails? Would your company still be able to function? Like many businesses, it’s likely yours cannot operate effectively without access to email. This risk factor alone should make many business leaders think twice about going through an email migration alone.
- Experts will reduce the time required to complete the project. Not only will they reduce risk and conduct tasks more efficiently, but experts will also know shortcuts that your team may be unaware of. It is not unusual for experts to be as much as 3-5 times faster than amateurs.
- Experts will help make sure the job is done right, the first time. Doing it alone can sometimes encourage the act of pursuing time-saving shortcuts to reduce complexity. In a big project, there are many details that can fall through the cracks and having an expert partner can make sure nothing is missed; for example, updating and testing backups, ensuring all users are set up properly, and checking that updates are working optimally.
- If something goes wrong, having a team available will help reduce the duration and effect of downtime. Your hired team of experts will already be familiar with your network, infrastructure, and will be prepared to get you back up and running as quickly as possible. Identifying and correcting issues alone is much more difficult than when working with a collaborative team all focused on improving outcomes.
- Long term relationships can be beneficial. The partner you choose can be of long term assistance. As we mentioned in tip #6, they will already be familiar with your environment and will not have to conduct due diligence before they can provide help.
It is important that companies do not put themselves at risk trying to do-it-yourself just to save a small amount of money. When a mistake can result in severe business disruption and potential financial losses, make sure your IT department is adequately equipped to handle it.