Can Your IT Department Handle the Switch to VoIP on Their Own? (Pt 2)

While the desire to physically own and control the technology utilized in your organization’s telephony system is understandable it isn’t particularly easy to dismantle. The fact of the matter is it’s better to focus your organization’s space, resources and attention on the work your employees perform and not on optimizing and maintaining the infrastructure that keeps the lights on and the phone lines open.

Selective Outsourcing?

Think about all the elements of your organization’s infrastructure, all those elements existing purely to facilitate the production of the products and services your organization runs, and ask yourself if you would really want to be personally responsible for all of them, or whether you’re comfortable having someone else, a specialist group, take care of the “care and feeding” of those systems. It won’t take more than a minute of internal inquiry to realize the more infrastructure operations you can outsource the better- and that includes the infrastructure of your organization’s telephony system.

Yet just because you can easily discount the necessity of physically hosting your organization’s VoIP gear that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to write off the human element quite so easily. That is to say, even though you won’t think twice about sending the physical equipment running your phone systems to a remote location, you’ll probably have a difficult time taking the responsibility of running those systems out of your IT department’s hands.

We admit- the human element of switching to any new technology can be tricky to handle, especially if it involves downsizing within your organization or otherwise making one or more members of your IT department redundant.

There are a couple of different ways to approach this dilemma.

Quality and Qualifications

To start, you need to ask yourself whether your existing IT department is actually qualified to handle installing and running an IP telephony system or not. This is a trickier question to answer than you might normally think. Your default response may be a quick, knee-jerk “of course! They’re an IT department, IP telephony is an IT solution, of course they’ll be able to handle the task!”

Unfortunately this response doesn’t take into account the fact IT is an increasingly specialized field.

Think about it this way… if you had an illness would you assume that just any doctor would be able to handle it? If you had a highly specific ailment would you believe any general practitioner would know the solution to your problem? For that matter would you believe anyone who falls under the umbrella of “doctor” could provide you with the answers you’re looking for, including paediatricians or even vets?

Of course not. We all understand that medicine is a highly specialized field and if you have a specific ailment you want to go to a specialist who focuses on treating that ailment, just as you wouldn’t go to a proctologist for a dental cleaning.

IT is Highly Specialized

The same holds true for that ever-expanding, increasingly specialized field known as “Information Technology.” You just can’t assume your existing IT department knows many intricacies of IP telephony. If your IT team includes employees who are exceptional with network technologies you might already have someone on board who will be able to handle the transition, but you just can’t assume this to be the case, not unless you’re willing to gamble a lot of time, money and potential frustration on simply handing over your VoIP telephony over to whomever currently fixes your organization’s computers when they freeze up.

We don’t mean to belittle IT employees at all right now. Most IT professionals, like most doctors, are highly trained, extremely intelligent individuals who are great at what they do. But just like with doctors, just because an IT specialist is good at their current tasks doesn’t mean their skills will automatically translate to another task. Just because your IT employees are doing a great job with their current positions that doesn’t mean they’re going to ace at IP telephony.