As your business starts to expand, you will soon outgrow your IT infrastructure and that is a big problem. That infrastructure underpins everything that you can do and if you do not scale it in line with the rest of your business, you will soon struggle to keep up with your workload. You need to ensure that all of the necessary hardware and software upgrades are in place so you can accommodate growth without any issues. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t know how to do this. If you are planning a period of expansion and you are unsure how to manage your IT infrastructure, this guide will tell you everything that you need to know.
Hosting and Servers
When you are choosing hosting services and setting up servers, it is always important to consider growth in the future. If you are hosting your IT infrastructure locally on your own servers, this can be a big issue. What if you don’t have enough space to add more servers? How much will it cost to buy and maintain those new servers? These are important questions that you need to answer before the need is there, not when you are forced to expand and have no way to do so. In many cases, it’s much better for small businesses to look into colocation services. You can find plenty of information about them online, like this page, and you will find that they are a better option than local servers. A number of businesses are hosted on the same servers and if your needs change, you have easy access to more storage should you need it. This makes it a lot easier to scale up your IT infrastructure without investing huge amounts of money in new servers.
Even if you are hosting off-site using colocation or the cloud, you still need hardware for your employees to use. Outdated computers are prone to breaking and they run incredibly slowly, which has a huge impact on productivity. Although it can be a big expense, upgrading all of your hardware is essential. You cannot manage a period of sustained growth if productivity is not at its highest, and you may need to invest in improved software that won’t run on older hardware.
As your business grows, your needs change and the software that you are currently using may not be adequate anymore. If you have upgraded all of your hardware, you should also upgrade the operating systems that you run on the computers. You will also need to invest in upgrades for essential pieces of software, like sales and marketing automation software or accounting programs. If you are still using basic software that is designed for small businesses, even though your customer base is growing, you will struggle to stay on top of the workload. It is also vital that you improve security software in your business because you are a bigger target for cyberattacks as you grow.
Upgrading your IT infrastructure is vital during a growth period, and you should do this before anything else. Unless the right systems are in place to accommodate growth, you will seriously struggle.