Scaling your IT Support as you grow your SME
Scaling your IT support in your business is key to scaling your business as you embark on your plans to grow your SME.
That’s why we’re asking these three key questions so that you can consider your IT as part of your business planning process.
- When you consider the IT provision in your business do you consider that the processes and productivity in your business are well supported and efficient? Or does your IT take up valuable time to manage, update and keep operational?
- Is your IT fit for purpose as your company grows? Or will you need to make changes along the way to make sure that your team members have what they need to drive your business processes, increase productivity and generate the business growth that you have planned?
- When considering the growth that you wish to achieve, do the skills in your team exist to put in place suitable IT provision that can respond quickly to your business need, especially when your sales are growing, scale up and down effectively, and in a cost effective way?
If the answer to our three questions is “it’s all good” then you’ve got it covered! If the answer to any of our questions is something else, or you aren’t sure, then we’ve written this blog to help you with just some of the areas that you should consider.
Scaling your IT support: Outsourcing
There is a price to pay for outsourcing your IT support. Before you think this isn’t an option for you, take a pencil and paper and jot down the time it takes for you and your staff to manage your IT. Include installations, updates, fault finding and fixing, time lost in the business while systems might be down, and anything else that takes up time.
Work out an average hourly rate and there you have the cost of your IT per month in your business. Consider the impact of the time spent on IT and not on sales and growing your business, and ultimately loss of sales, productivity, and profitability.
Your IT costs might be a lot more than you think now right?
The key benefits of outsourcing your IT support:
- Taking IT off your hands so that you can concentrate on your growth plans
- Reduce disruptions by having regular updates and upgrades to software and hardware
- A single, professional point of contact for your team if they need assistance
- Secure storage and backup of your data
- Save time that you would otherwise spend on IT and use it to grow your business
- Utilise expertise without the need to employ and train specialist staff
Scaling your IT support: Cloud Computing
Do you remember the days when you had to buy the latest version of Microsoft Office on CD? And install on every computer in your business? Thankfully those days are long behind us, but is your IT managed centrally as efficiently as it can be? And in the era of work from home, can your team access your central systems easily and securely?
Cloud computing means that your IT systems are in the cloud. No more expensive native servers or even individual machine installations. It provides you with a flexible, fully scalable, and mobile business that your staff can access from anywhere in the world. All they need is a laptop and an internet connection.
Manufacturers using digital systems can connect machinery so that it reports directly into cloud-based systems. The sky’s the limit (ahem..excuse the pun…)
The cloud is scalable so as your business grows, your IT provision can grow easily with it. And that makes it a highly cost effective option. And if your business shrinks, IT in the cloud can be scaled back to suit. Additional efficiency means that keeping systems updated can be done across hardware remotely by an IT team, without the need for members of staff spending valuable time doing it themselves.
Scaling your IT support: Cyber Security
How do you manage your cyber security at the moment? Do individual staff manage their own machines, set and change their passwords and make sure that the old-fashioned “post-it note on the monitor with the passwords on” is a thing of the past?
It is critical that every business has a credible cyber security policy to keep your business safe. Your growth plan will be hampered if your systems are hacked, or worse you will lose your data which could put you out of business. And it’s not just enterprises and nation-states that are hacked anymore.
In the end, it’s about bringing in the right expertise and systems to ensure that your business is cyber secure.
Scaling your IT support: VoIP Telecoms
Have you had to add phone lines into your business to cope with your growing telecoms needs? That takes time and additional cost, and cancelling a line can be much more difficult and costly if you find you don’t need it in the future. Are you expecting to move office, install phone lines for staff working for home? Or do something that would have been out of the ordinary only a few years ago? Conventional landlines can be expensive, cumbersome, and take time to set up.
Installing VoIP in your business means that you can scale up and down quickly and easily, and at a much lower cost than conventional lines. And the technology involved means that you can use some VoIP phones alongside other systems in your business.
Moving a VoIP system from office to office is as simple as unplugging your VoIP handset at one end and plugging it in at the other end. If you have the know-how. With an outsourced IT support service, your new and existing lines can be ready for you and your team when you arrive at your new offices.
Scaling your IT support: Networking
Ever felt like network cable is like spaghetti? This is where professional, outsourced support can be a real benefit. Cabling can be a complex business, and even more so as your business scales.
Without the right expertise, you could be installing hardware that may not meet your future business needs. There are other issues too. You could lose speed across the network, or create potential vulnerabilities.
Are you ready to scale up, possibly to a new office? Utilising outsourced expertise can make the difference that you need in your business.
We’re a team full of expertise and ambition to help your business realise its ambitions for growth. If you need to look at your IT support and consider what works, what doesn’t, and how to resource and deliver a state-of-the-art system that will help your business grow, simply drop us a line. We can audit your current provision, and what you would need to deliver your business growth objectives.
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