If you are planning to grow your business next year, you should have a plan in place already that encompasses all your company’s departments and teams, ensuring that they are aware of any changes that might be a result of the expansion.
However, IT is an area which is often overlooked by managers when setting long-term goals. A common pitfall that we can all fall prey to is assuming that the IT infrastructure will automatically expand and support growth as the company does. This is rarely the case, so it’s important to determine whether or not your IT will be able to scale along with your business as it grows in the New Year. The success of your expansion depends on upskilling your IT department.
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Here are some questions you should ask yourself as you make plans to grow your business in 2020:
Are You Properly Utilizing the Cloud?
The cloud is generally used when referring to data centers available to multiple users in various locations over the internet. However, it can also be used to mean more general availability of on-demand computer system resources.
The cloud needs to be expertly utilized for maximum efficiency. The cloud can provide improved manageability and speed up processes, allowing other members of the IT department to work on more fluctuating and unpredictable projects, synonymous with scaling up any business.
Are You Keeping on Top of Software Updates?
It is absolutely vital that the software your business uses supports the expansion you are planning. Check the licenses. This is not only in relation to when they will need renewing, but also in terms of exactly what you can use the software for.
You may find that what you currently have in place does not permit the level of scaling up that you have planned. If so, you need to find updates or alternatives which will support your growth. Ensure you have a plan in place for this in order to successfully move forward.
Is Your IT Staff Equipped for Growth?
Will your IT department be able to scale up in proportion to the rest of the business? As the company grows, there may be processes and systems which IT can apply to increase efficiency. However, they will only be able to do this if they have members of staff with experience in this area or have attended training.
When considering scaling up, it is worth asking managers to assess their teams regardless of which department they fall into as there may be opportunity for promotion or different delegations of duties. However, this is absolutely integral when considering your IT operators. As the business grows, so too will its technological needs, and you need to be certain that your current employees have the capabilities to manage this.
It may be a case of assessing who you currently have and their skill-set with a view to recruitment, or researching particular training courses to develop existing members of staff. The best option to consider when scaling your IT is to outsource your infrastructure management to a reliable Managed IT Service Provider who can handle scalable systems and processes for you.
Have You Considered Network Upgrades?
It is likely that network upgrades will be necessary as part of your business scaling up. Although they can be an incredibly frustrating part of managing an expansion, often taking computers and networks off-line for hours at a time, they are a necessary evil.
However, be aware of how long these upgrades should take. In the twenty-first century, network upgrades should not involve long periods of inactivity. Now, the majority of network-related changes can be enacted via smaller, more frequent updates, sent electronically.
What will make your business stand out from the rest and mean your scaling up can outshine others in the industry will come down to how efficiently you utilize your information technology. Rather than thinking of it as a rigid, unchanging resource, consider it as a vital, growing part of the business, as adaptable and responsive as any other.
Your company might be incredibly flexible and capable of pouncing on trends in the marketplace without hesitation, but is this modern growth mindset supported by your IT infrastructure? As both an invaluable resource for your business in terms of long-term plans and development, and your first line of defense against potentially crippling cyberattacks, the company’s IT needs to be part of the conversation.