Most large companies have a team of IT experts that rush to your aid whenever there’s a problem. They’re ready for anything. What one person doesn’t know, another person does. It’s a different story at start-ups, though. There’s usually only one person, and that one person needs to solve the same number of problems that an entire team would face at a major corporation. Here’s why you should choose this one person wisely.

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Start-ups Can’t Easily Afford Replacement Technology

If one employee’s laptop or PC breaks, start-up employees can’t just call down to the IT department and ask them to bring up another on. They’re also not large enough to have extra computers lying around from an intern or a temporarily empty position. Oftentimes, the solution to failing technology it a little elbow grease and hope.

You want to hire an IT person who can get the most out of the technology that everyone is using. They’ll choose to invest in the right anti-virus software and pop-up blockers, and set-up employees with the right technology depending on their needs. For example, he or she might find a durable PC for HR to use, and buy a Google tablet for the traveling head of sales. They’ll get the most mileage out of both of those.

Malware and Phishing Scams Everywhere

Some of the most public hacks of 2013 – the Associated Press’ Twitter account, the New York Times Twitter, etc. – came as a result of phishing scams. Criminals go the extra mile to make emails look legitimate. All it takes is one employee opening it and clicking on a link or questionable attachment inside and your whole system could be compromised. On top of that, there are all kinds of malware out there that can bring your website and computers to their metaphorical knees.

Your start-up might not be IBM (yet), but that doesn’t mean you won’t be the target of scammers and viruses. Your IT person can help set up the necessary preemptive blocks and filters, but they’ll also need to clean up the damage when something slips through the cracks.

Technology is Constantly Evolving

One of the great things about start-ups is how on-top of modern technology they are. You will never find a fax machine in a start-up, while older businesses just don’t have the heart to toss these relics even though they haven’t been used in years. Take HR for example. According to an article published by the Ohio University, innovations in technology has helped to automate many of the clerical roles of HR so department managers can focus more time and energy on strategic planning.

Conference calls are also evolving. No longer are people huddled over a phone so everyone can hear, checking every few minutes to make sure everyone is there. Now we have Skype calls. Now we have Google Hangouts.

One of the main roles of the IT department is keeping up with technology. As new forms are used, they help the staff adopt them and become comfortable using them. Again, this can be easier at a start-up full of millennials, but even they can trip over a new app or program every once in a while.

They Manage Data and Storage

We all know that every start-up is going to be the next Google, or the next Apple, or the next Facebook. Well, most of them will be. Either way, there are a lot of great ideas and products being developed that will make millions. Your IT person needs to protect these ideas.

Whether they’re managing the Cloud storage that your files are on, fighting off DDoS attacks on your websites, or fixing bugs in your beta software, your IT person makes sure you have access to the files and pages that you need – without you ever knowing there’s a problem.

They also know the “tech speak” that your marketing, HR and finance people don’t know. Fancy words like “Cloud” and “DDos attack” would be completely lost on other parts of your start-up.

This position can make or break your company. The IT department is made up of unsung heroes at your company, and the IT person behind a start-up can be responsible for its success, or failure. Without the right IT person, day-to-day tasks can’t get done, and there’s no consistency. Don’t undervalue this position when you’re making hiring decisions.