Pop Quiz: Who has the ability to inflict the most damage to your organization with the least amount of effort?
If you guessed the owner, you’d be wrong. If you took a hint from the title of this blog and said the IT person, congratulations—you nailed it!
Whoever is in charge of your company’s IT has access to every single piece of data in your network. They know how it’s stored, how it’s managed, and how it’s backed up. If they become disgruntled, they can take you down in less than five minutes.
Firing your IT person, then, is an incredibly delicate process that must be strategically and precisely planned.
Before you can even consider terminating this person, you need to make sure that you have access to all of their knowledge; your network needs to be documented down to your software licenses, vendor accounts, and hardware warranty information. Someone has to be able to pick up where they left off.
You also need to set up how the organization will be supported from the moment this person leaves until the time a new IT person is fully trained and familiar with your network. If you don’t, you could be in for a pretty damaging lapse in support to your user base.
Even then, no matter how frustrated you become with this person, you cannot fire them whenever your temper flares; you need to set an exact date and an exact time, and to coordinate with someone (preferably from the outside) to cut their access to your entire network no earlier and no later than that moment.
Once access is cut, change all of your passwords, and comb through your network for any extra accounts with administrative credentials that could allow your IT person back-door access to your network.
In all likelihood, your IT person will not try to sabotage your organization post-termination. As much as you hope for the best, however, you absolutely cannot afford to prepare for anything but the worst.