Clarifications on the Role of Out-Sourced IT Director
My roles & relationships with all of you vary―from CTO/CIO partner on
retainers, to contracted advisor. For majority of you, I am the
Director, working on an out-sourced basis, rather than
in-house and full-time.
My jurisdictions and duties, expectations and requirements, capabilities
& limitations are identical to those of my in-house
counterparts. I am charged with overseeing the IT side of the
operations, and report directly to the CEO (owner or partners).
In addition to the obvious tasks of implementation and support,
I'm also responsible for strategic planning & visions,
standards & policies setting, vendor evaluations,
platform & directions, and coordination. All IT-related
happenings should be cleared with me, and I'm in-turn
responsible for tracking them and reporting on-demand.
Failing to inform me on changes, or performing
unauthorized/un-coordinated IT tasks would seriously undermine my
effectiveness, and ultimately resulting in extra costs to your firm.
The procedures, chain-of-commands, authorization, record keeping,
delegation, division of labor are identical to those of on-site IT
Directors. My priorities, allegiance & missions also should be more like
those of a team member, rather than an outside vendor.
The only thing to keep in mind: My compensation scheme is very
different from that of an employee, which has 2 major implications:
- Whenever feasible, you should minimize needless utilization of
my services, as each transaction incurs incremental expenses, unlike
in-house IT, which is already paid for or committed. However, you should exercise
good judgment and not over-do the "savings" as it could end up being
penny-wise, pound-foolish. I will always advise you if a given task
does not require my level of service. We're both responsible for
refining the process, and the division of labor, in order to achieve optimal results.
- Each time you call for help, I'll use my best professional
judgment. If I conclude that no actions are needed, you can
rest assure that it's not because I'm simply avoiding extra work. Remember:
If I believe work is warranted, based on
your firm's directives regarding IT attentiveness level, I would have
"prescribed" it. I do have that standing authorization.
Sam C. Chan