Minimizing the IT Growing Pains at your Business
Minimizing the IT growing pains at your business
You did it. Your hard work, skill and vision have paid off, and your business is now thriving. Launching a sustainable business is no small feat.
Growth, however, brings with it a whole new set of challenges. Many teams struggle to adapt their small, agile organizations to the demands of a growing customer base and increased profits. Reimagining infrastructure becomes a key priority, and within that, tech plays an essential role. Here are 10 things to keep in mind to minimize the growing pains when it comes your technology infrastructure.
- Do your homework. Many business owners opt for the cheapest or easiest technology when they are just getting started. If that’s true for your organization, you could probably benefit from reevaluating your options. Now that you have a bigger budget and more complex needs, research alternatives and make sure you’re choosing the appropriate tech solutions. Don’t be afraid to speak with an advisor before making an investment.
- Consider specialty solutions. As organizations grow, their staff often shifts from a small cohort tackling a range of problems to a synchronized team of experts. Technology should follow the same pattern. A spreadsheet may have been sufficient to track expenses or manage a customer list in the early days, but as your company grows it may be time to invest in a CRM or versatile bookkeeping solution.
- Consider specialty staff. Don’t expect your other employees (or yourself) to know everything about your IT. It may be easier and more efficient to bring on someone who exclusively handles your systems. If you’re not ready for a full time staff member, consider hiring outside support.
- Include technology in your budget. When a business is growing rapidly, it can be tempting to direct all of your funds toward development and marketing. An operation without strong infrastructure is not sustainable, however, and overworked or outdated systems could lead to disaster. Make technology an ongoing priority in your budget.
- Find solutions that scale. Cloud-based platforms can easily scale up or down. Explore solutions that can adapt and increase capacity and features as your needs evolve.
- Secure everything. Any business is susceptible to security risks and viruses, but the more valuable your data is, the more appealing it is to hackers. Now is not the time to skimp on security.
- As you grow, simple data entry and other processes can become increasingly bulky. Large corporations increase efficiency by automating many menial tasks. Streamline where you can so that your growing staff can optimize productivity.
- Evaluate your legacy systems. Part of growing is pushing beyond your comfort zone. Reevaluate your legacy systems regularly and determine whether their capabilities align with your strategy. If not, will an upgrade improve the situation, or do you need to look for alternatives?
- Document and standardize. As your organization becomes more complex, it’s important to create standards and track developments on the IT front. Standardization simplifies and increases predictability for staff, and appropriate documentation lets the IT team resolve issues more quickly.
- Watch the trends. You’ve made it this far in part because you’re quick on your feet and conscious of your market. Keep an open mind about the role technology can play as you grow, and pay attention to the technology solutions your competitors are using.