I'll commend you and the few old-hats around you on being a self-starters, learning and adopting tech/hardware/development/engineering on your own and trying to share and communicate that in-house. I think ability to learn, fully understand and properly implement anything and do more than just nod your head and gasp a topic for 5 minutes goes a long way.
But I think it's starts where it stops right now. What you have is a bunch of self-taught experts trying to carry on a vision-less and foundation-less IT department with a 'Fight Club' ruleset of "The First Rule of our Company is you do not talk about IT assembly or the lack there of". You need IT, not for the knowledge and expertise (because it seems like you have some idea what you need to do and how to be productive with technology) but you need it for two reasons:
1) Get the damn day-to-day IT burden off your shoulders, so someone who's managed, worked and operated in an IT environment can come in and set up a foundation, standards, expectations, operations, training and management of this shit, not you guys who are hardcode dabblers.
2) So you can focus on the jobs you are PAID TO DO.
This isn't a new problem, it just means your company doesn't value that because you are all doing it yourself and don't see the pain points because you've been 'making it happen'. But that only can go on so far. If it's a company cheap-skate problem where the idea has been brought up before but got shot down because 'talent is expensive', then I guess find all the /. posts that give you ideas on how to solve it, because that's why you posted, right?
This shit happens A LOT. And being, having and making a career in IT myself, there's nothing worse than seeing and empathizing with the other side of the coin where engineers, scientists, other staff, etc. doing IT in the capacity they can handle, failing at it, and not really focusing on their true job, which wasn't IT to begin with.